Effects of intermittent pressure imitating rolling manipulation on calcium ion homeostasis in human skeletal muscle cells

Hong Zhang, Howe Liu, Qing Lin, Guohui Zhang, David C. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Homeostasis imbalance of intracellular Ca2+ is one of the key pathophysiological factors in skeletal muscle injuries. Such imbalance can cause significant change in the metabolism of Ca2+-related biomarkers in skeletal muscle, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA) and creatine kinase (CK). Measurements of these biomarkers can be used to evaluate the degree of damage to human skeletal muscle cells (HSKMCs) injury. Rolling manipulation is the most popular myofascial release technique in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The mechanism of how this technique works in ameliorating muscle injury is unknown. This study aimed to investigate the possible Ca2+ mediated effects of intermittent pressure imitating rolling manipulation (IPIRM) of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the injured HSKMCs. Methods: The normal HSKMCs was used as control normal group (CNG), while the injured HSKMCs were further divided into five different groups: control injured group (CIG), Rolling manipulation group (RMG), Rolling manipulation-Verapamil group (RMVG), static pressure group (SPG) and static pressure-Verapamil group (SPVG). RMG and RMVG cells were cyclically exposed to 9.5-12.5 N/cm2 of IPIRM at a frequency of 1.0 Hz for 10 min. SPG and SPVG were loaded to a continuous pressure of 12.5 N/cm2 for 10 min. Verapamil, a calcium antagonist, was added into the culture mediums of both RMVG and SPVG groups to block the influx of calcium ion. Result: Compared with the CNG (normal cells), SOD activity was remarkably decreased while both MDA content and CK activity were significantly increased in the CIG (injured cells). When the injured cells were treated with the intermittent rolling manipulation pressure (RMG), the SOD activity was significantly increased and MDA content and CK activity were remarkably decreased. These effects were suppressed by adding the calcium antagonist Verapamil into the culture medium in RMVG. On the other hand, exposure to static pressure in SPG and SPVG affected neither the SOD activity nor the MDA content and CK activity in the injured muscle cells regardless of the presence of verapamil or not in the culture medium. Conclusion: These data suggest that the intermittent rolling pressure with the manipulation could ameliorate HSKMCs injury through a Ca2+ dependent pathway. Static pressure did not lead to the same results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number314
JournalBMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 26 Aug 2016


  • Calcium ion
  • Creatine kinase
  • Human skeletal muscle cell
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Rolling manipulation
  • Superoxide dismutase


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