Motor and sensory conduction velocities and amplitude of nerve or muscle potentials in the normal rat according to age

Acta Physiol Hung. 2001;88(3-4):239-49. doi: 10.1556/APhysiol.88.2001.3-4.6.


The relative changes in sensory and motor nerve conductions and SNAP and CMAP amplitudes were studied on the sural and tibial posterior nerves in anesthetized male rats, between the 1st and the 23rd month. Neural growth was controlled with the measure of the nerve path length on the skin, between stimulating and recording cathodes for the sural nerve and proximal and distal stimulating cathodes for the tibial posterior nerve. The sural SCV and SNAP amplitude are consistent with a more accurate method than the H-reflex one. Similar changes were observed in both parameters. During the maturation of the peripheral nervous system, between the 1st and the 5th month, parameters rapidly increased. Over 14 months old, parameters decrease: the diminution of SNAP and CMAP amplitudes is characteristic of aging. The results were analyzed through quadratic and linear regression and were similar to those in young and elderly human patients. Parabola curves fitted the best way to represent the evolution of parameters. Moreover, the linear regression permitted to divide the rat life in 3 parts and to distinguish a period between the 6th and 13th months during which studied parameters are considered as constant. SCV, MCV, SNAP and CMAP amplitudes from the 1st to the 5th, from 6th to 13th and over the 14th month, could be used as reference.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Electrophysiology / standards
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Neural Conduction / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sural Nerve / physiology