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J Physiol. 1978 Aug;281:139-55.

Enhancement of mechanical performance by stretch during tetanic contractions of vertebrate skeletal muscle fibres.

Abstract

1. Single fibres from the semitendinosus muscle of Rana temporaria were stretched during fused tetanic contractions and tension and sarcomere length (laser diffraction) responses were recorded. 2. Stretch of the fibres caused proportional increases in length of the sarcomeres. The force increased to a plateau value which was maintained during stretch or increased to a plateau value which was maintained during stretch or increased slightly. 3. The plateau value of force during stretch was dependent upon the velocity of stretch, was independent of the amplitude of stretch and was not proportional to overlap of thick and thin filaments. 4. There was enhancement of force after stretch compared with that produced at the same sarcomere length during isometric tetani. This force enhancement was independent of the velocity at which the stretch had been applied. 5. At sarcomere lengths between 1.9 and 2.3 micrometer, the force enhancement after stretch declayed rapidly, was independent of amplitude of stretch above approximately 25 nm per sarcomere not associated with a shift of the force--velocity curve. At sarcomere lengths above 2.3 micrometer the force enhancement after stretch decayed very slowly and was still present after 4 sec in long tetani. 6. At sarcomere lengths above 2.3 micrometer, force enhancement after stretch increased with amplitude of stretch and increased for any given stretch amplitude with sarcomere length. The force recorded after stretch was thus not proportional to overlap of thick and thin filaments. 7. At sarcomere lengths above 2.3 micrometer, the force enhancement after stretch was associated with a shift towards higher force value of the force--velocity curve. The velocity of shortening and zero load (V max) derived by hyperbolic extrapolation of the force--velocity curve was not affected. 8. Tension enhancement during and after stretch has a stabilizing effect in preventing dispersion of sarcomere length, particularly on the descending limb of the length--tension curve.

PMID:
309001
PMCID:
PMC1282688
DOI:
10.1113/jphysiol.1978.sp012413
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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