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J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 1996 Apr;17(2):261-8.

Quantitative analysis of sarcomere non-uniformities in active muscle following a stretch.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Monash University Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


Electron microscopy of toad (Bufo marinus) muscle fixed without relaxing after a single eccentric contraction at muscle lengths greater than optimum showed over-stretched half-sarcomeres in sufficient numbers to account for more than half of the imposed stretch. Such sarcomeres were absent in another muscle fixed without relaxing after an isometric contraction at the same length and largely absent in a third muscle that underwent eccentric contraction at muscle lengths less than optimum. This provides direct evidence in support of the hypothesis that lengthening of muscles at long length involves lengthening of a few half sarcomeres to beyond filament overlap, while most half sarcomeres are extended much less than in proportion to muscle extension.

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