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Muscle Nerve. 1988 Jul;11(7):714-9.

Muscle action potential propagation velocity changes during activity.

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Zoophysiological Lab. B, August Krogh Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Fatigue from high frequency stimulation is associated with EMG signal changes, which are primarily due to a slowing of the sarcolemma conduction velocity. In the present study, in which isolated mouse soleus and extensor digitorum longus muscles have been studied, it is shown that the action potential propagation velocity is (1) decreased by an increased extracellular potassium concentration, (2) independent of extracellular pH, (3) decreased by low intracellular pH, and (4) nearly independent of moderate changes in the sodium gradient. The EDL muscle is more affected than the soleus muscle. The ion effects on propagation velocity are seen within the physiological ranges. The propagation velocity was decreased after 2 min of electrical stimulation and recovered with a time course similar to the pH recovery. The effects of extracellular potassium and internal pH are due to independent mechanisms.

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