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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Oct;112(10):3559-67. doi: 10.1007/s00421-012-2341-9. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Skeletal muscle glycogen content and particle size of distinct subcellular localizations in the recovery period after a high-level soccer match.

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Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense M, Denmark.


Whole muscle glycogen levels remain low for a prolonged period following a soccer match. The present study was conducted to investigate how this relates to glycogen content and particle size in distinct subcellular localizations. Seven high-level male soccer players had a vastus lateralis muscle biopsy collected immediately after and 24, 48, 72 and 120 h after a competitive soccer match. Transmission electron microscopy was used to estimate the subcellular distribution of glycogen and individual particle size. During the first day of recovery, glycogen content increased by ~60% in all subcellular localizations, but during the subsequent second day of recovery glycogen content located within the myofibrils (Intramyofibrillar glycogen, a minor deposition constituting 10-15% of total glycogen) did not increase further compared with an increase in subsarcolemmal glycogen (-7 vs. +25%, respectively, P = 0.047). Conversely, from the second to the fifth day of recovery, glycogen content increased (53%) within the myofibrils compared to no change in subsarcolemmal or intermyofibrillar glycogen (P < 0.005). Independent of location, increment in particle size preceded increment in number of particles. Intriguingly, average particle size decreased; however, in the period from 3 to 5 days after the match. These findings suggest that glycogen storage in skeletal muscle is influenced by subcellular localization-specific mechanisms, which account for an increase in number of glycogen particles located within the myofibrils in the period from 2 to 5 days after the soccer match.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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