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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.


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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