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J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Aug;25(8):2283-92. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181f1592e.

Muscular hypertrophy and changes in cytokine production after eccentric training in the rat skeletal muscle.

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  • 1Laboratory of Health and Sports Sciences, Center for Liberal Arts, Meiji Gakuin University, Kanagawa, Japan. ochi@gen.meijigakuin.ac.jp


We investigated the time course effects of eccentric training on muscular size, strength, and growth factor/cytokine production by using an isokinetic-exercise system for rats. Male Wistar rats (n = 34) were randomly assigned into 4 groups: 5 session eccentric-training group (ECC5S, n = 10); 5 session sham-operated group (CON5S, n = 10); 10 session eccentric-training group (ECC10S, n = 7); 10 session sham-operated group (CON10S, n = 7). In each group, a session of either training or sham operation was performed every 2 days. The training consisted of 4 sets of forced dorsiflexion (5 repetitions) combined with electric stimulation of plantar flexors. The wet weight of medial gastrocnemius muscle did not increase significantly after 5 sessions of training, whereas that after 10 sessions of training significantly increased with a concomitant increase in the cross-sectional area (CSA) of muscle fibers (weight, p < 0.05; fiber CSA, p < 0.001). Interleukin (IL)-6 in ECC5S and ECC10S groups showed significant increases (p < 0.01), whereas those of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-10 did not. The phospho-stat-3 showed a significant increase in ECC10S (p < 0.001) but not in ECC5S. Myostatin and follistatin also showed significant differences only between ECC10S and CON10S (p < 0.05). The results showed that repeated sessions of eccentric training for 20 days cause increases in muscular size and strength associated with increases in IL-6, follistatin, phospho-stat-3, and a decrease in myostatin. The delayed responses of IL-6, myostatin, phospho-stat-3, and follistatin would be due to the chronic effects of repeated training and possibly important for muscular hypertrophy.

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