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Am J Physiol. 1977 Sep;233(3):C86-91.

Contractile properties of rat soleus muscle: effects of training and fatique.


The effects of exercise training and fatique on the contractile properties of rat soleus muscles have been investigated. Prolonged exercise, consisting of 2 h or daily treadmill running, induced small but significant decrease in contraction time, one-half relaxation time, and maximum tetanic tension (Po), and increase in the peak rate of tension development (dP/dt) during a twitch, and an increase in maximum shortening velocity (Vmax). The 20% increase in Vmax was proportional to the previously reported increase in actomyosin ATPase induced by 2 h of daily running. These results indicate that prolonged training can induce modifications of the neurally determined contractile properties of skeletal muscle. To investigate the effects of fatigue, soleus muscles were stimulated in situ with 250-ms trains of 100 Hz at a rate of 110 trains per minute for 30 min. This resulted in a 32% decrease in Po, a 48% decline in peak tetanic dP/dt, and a 12% decrease in Vmax in muscles of untrained animals. Muscles that had adapted to exercise were significantly protected against the decrease in Po (only an 8% decrease) and Vmax (no significant decrease) but not against the decline in peak dP/dt.

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