A comparison of acute mouse hindlimb injuries between tourniquet- and femoral artery ligation-induced ischemia-reperfusion

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2 Scopus citations


The tourniquet or femoral artery ligation is widely used to stop extremity hemorrhage or create a bloodless operating field in the combat scenario and civilian setting. However, these procedures with subsequent reperfusion also induce ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injuries. To fully evaluate animal models of limb IR injuries, we compared tourniquet- and femoral artery ligation-induced IR injuries in the hindlimb of mice. In C57/BL6 mice, 3 h of unilateral hindlimb ischemia was induced by placement of a rubber band at the hip joint or a surgical ligation of the femoral artery. The tourniquet or femoral artery ligation was then released, allowing for 24 h of reperfusion. Compared to the femoral artery ligation/IR, the tourniquet/IR induced more severe skeletal muscle damage, including muscle necrosis and interruption of muscle fibers. There was no gastrocnemius muscle contraction in tourniquet/IR, while femoral artery ligation/IR markedly weakened gastrocnemius muscle contraction. Motor nerve terminals disappeared, and endplate potentials (EPPs) were undetectable in tourniquet/IR, whereas femoral artery ligation/IR only induced mild impairment of motor nerve terminals and decreased the amplitude of EPPs. Additionally, western blot data showed that proinflammatory cytokine levels (IL-1β and TNF-α) were higher in the tourniquet/IR than that in femoral artery ligation/IR. Moreover, tourniquet/IR caused significant tissue edema and dilation of lymphatic vessels in the hindlimb, compared to femoral artery ligation/IR. The above data demonstrated that tourniquet/IR-induced acute hindlimb injuries are more severe than those induced by femoral artery ligation/IR. This suggests that future investigators should determine which hindlimb IR model (tourniquet/IR or femoral artery ligation/IR) is optimal depending on the purpose of their study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3217-3226
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Animal model
  • Femoral artery ligation
  • Injury
  • Ischemia-reperfusion
  • Limb
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Tourniquet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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