Inhibition of TrkB kinase activity impairs transdiaphragmatic pressure generation

Miguel Pareja-Cajiao, Heather M. Gransee, Naomi A. Cole, Gary C. Sieck, Carlos B. Mantilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Signaling via the tropomyosin-related kinase receptor subtype B (TrkB) regulates neuromuscular transmission, and inhibition of TrkB kinase activity by 1NMPP1 in TrkBF616A mice worsens neuromuscular transmission failure (NMTF). We hypothesized that acute inhibition of TrkB kinase activity will impair the ability of the diaphragm muscle to produce maximal transdiaphragmatic pressure (Pdi) without impacting the ability to generate forces associated with ventilation, consistent with the greater susceptibility to NMTF in motor units responsible for higher-force nonventilatory behaviors. Adult male and female TrkBF616A mice were injected with 1NMPP1 (n = 8) or vehicle (DMSO; n = 8) 1 h before Pdi measurements during eupneic breathing, hypoxia/hypercapnia (10% O2/5% CO2), tracheal occlusion, spontaneous deep breaths ("sighs") and during maximal activation elicited by bilateral phrenic nerve stimulation. In the vehicletreated group, Pdi increased from ∼10 cmH2O during eupnea and hypoxia/hypercapnia, to ∼35 cmH2O during sighs and tracheal occlusion, and to ∼65 cm H2O during maximal stimulation. There was no effect of acute 1NMPP1 treatment on Pdi generated during most behaviors, except during maximal stimulation (∼30% reduction; P < 0.05). This reduction in maximal Pdi is generally similar to the worsening of NMTF previously reported with TrkB kinase inhibition in rodents. Accordingly, impaired TrkB signaling limits the range of motor behaviors accomplished by the diaphragm muscle and may contribute to neuromuscular dysfunction, primarily by impacting fatigable, higher force-generating motor units. NEW & NOTEWORTHY TrkB signaling plays an important role in maintaining neuromuscular function in the diaphragm muscle and may be necessary to accomplish the various motor behaviors ranging from ventilation to expulsive, behaviors requiring near-maximal forces. This study shows that inhibition of TrkB kinase activity impairs maximal pressure generation by the diaphragm muscle, but the ability to generate the lower pressures required for ventilatory behaviors is not impacted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-344
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • Diaphragm muscle
  • Motor unit
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Neuromuscular transmission
  • Neurotrophins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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