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Logo of jphysiolThe Journal of Physiology SiteMembershipSubmissionJ Physiol
J Physiol. Apr 1, 1997; 500(Pt 1): 193–204.
PMCID: PMC1159369

The effect of intracellular pH on contractile function of intact, single fibres of mouse muscle declines with increasing temperature.


1. The effect of altered intracellular pH (pHi) on isometric contractions and shortening velocity at 12, 22 and 32 degrees C was studied in intact, single fibres of mouse skeletal muscle. Changes in pHi were obtained by exposing fibres to solutions with different CO2 concentrations. 2. Under control conditions (5% CO2), pHi (measured with carboxy SNARF-1) was about 0.3 pH units more alkaline than neutral water at each temperature. An acidification of about 0.5 pH units was produced by 30% CO2 and an alkalinization of similar size by 0% CO2. 3. In acidified fibres tetanic force was reduced by 28% at 12 degrees C but only by 10% at 32 degrees C. The force increase with alkalinization showed a similar reduction with increasing temperature. Acidification caused a marked slowing of relaxation and this slowing became less with increasing temperature. 4. Acidification reduced the maximum shortening velocity (V0) by almost 20% at 12 degrees C, but had no significant effect at 32 degrees C. Alkalinization had no significant effect on V0 at any temperature. 5. In conclusion, the effect of pHi on contraction of mammalian muscle declines markedly with increasing temperature. Thus, the direct inhibition of force production by acidification is not a major factor in muscle fatigue at physiological temperatures.

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