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J Physiol Sci. 2010 Sep;60(5):331-41. doi: 10.1007/s12576-010-0101-3. Epub 2010 Jul 2.

Phosphocreatine recovery overshoot after high intensity exercise in human skeletal muscle is associated with extensive muscle acidification and a significant decrease in phosphorylation potential.

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Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, University School of Physical Education-Kraków, Al. Jana Pawla II 78, 31-571, Krakow, Poland.


The phosphocreatine (PCr) recovery overshoot in skeletal muscle is a transient increase of PCr concentration above the resting level after termination of exercise. In the present study [PCr], [ATP], [P(i)] and pH were measured in calf muscle during rest, during plantar flexion exercise until exhaustion and recovery, using the (31)P NMR spectroscopy. A significantly greater acidification of muscle cells and significantly lower phosphorylation potential (DeltaG (ATP)) at the end of exercise was encountered in the group of subjects that evidenced the [PCr] overshoot as well as [ADP] and [P(i)] undershoots than in the group that did not. We postulate that the role of the PCr overshoot-related transiently elevated [ATP]/[ADP(free)] ratio is to activate different processes (including protein synthesis) that participate in repairing numerous damages of the muscle cells caused by intensive exercise-induced stressing factors, such as extensive muscle acidification, a significant decrease in DeltaG (ATP), an elevated level of reactive oxygen species or mechanical disturbances.

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