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Pflugers Arch. 1986 Oct;407(4):445-50.

Muscle economy of isometric contractions as a function of stimulation time and relative muscle length.


For rat medial gastrocnemius muscle economy (i.e. the ratio of time integral of force and total energy-rich phosphate consumption) was calculated. Muscles in situ at 35 degrees C were stimulated to perform either one continuous or several repetitive isometric contractions at one muscle length in the range from 70% to 130% of optimum muscle length for force generation. Whereas during one continuous contraction economy increased, no differences in economy were found between 6, 12 or 18 successive contractions. Economy during intermittent exercise was always lower than during continuous exercise. The difference in economy is a result of different rates of metabolism, whereas no difference was found for force generation. Economy was highest at optimum muscle length for force generation and decreased at muscle lengths smaller as well as greater than optimum muscle length. Force-dependent energy consumption was calculated by subtracting the force-independent part (obtained by extrapolation) from total energy consumption. The calculated force produced per mumol force-dependent energy-rich phosphate consumption was similar in muscles stretched beyond optimum length. In contrast, a decreasing amount of force per mumol force-dependent energy-rich phosphate consumption was observed at lengths smaller than optimum length.

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