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19.05.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 8/2017

European Journal of Applied Physiology 8/2017

Central activation, metabolites, and calcium handling during fatigue with repeated maximal isometric contractions in human muscle

Zeitschrift:
European Journal of Applied Physiology > Ausgabe 8/2017
Autoren:
Simeon P. Cairns, Luke A. G. Inman, Caroline P. MacManus, Ingrid G. L. van de Port, Patricia A. Ruell, Jeanette M. Thom, Martin W. Thompson
Wichtige Hinweise
Communicated by Nicolas Place.

Abstract

Purpose

To determine the roles of calcium (Ca2+) handling by sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) and central activation impairment (i.e., central fatigue) during fatigue with repeated maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVC) in human muscles.

Methods

Contractile performance was assessed during 3 min of repeated MVCs (7-s contraction, 3-s rest, n = 17). In ten participants, in vitro SR Ca2+-handling, metabolites, and fibre-type composition were quantified in biopsy samples from quadriceps muscle, along with plasma venous [K+]. In 11 participants, central fatigue was compared using tetanic stimulation superimposed on MVC in quadriceps and adductor pollicis muscles.

Results

The decline of peak MVC force with fatigue was similar for both muscles. Fatigue resistance correlated directly with % type I fibre area in quadriceps (r = 0.77, P = 0.009). The maximal rate of ryanodine-induced Ca2+-release and Ca2+-uptake fell by 31 ± 26 and 28 ± 13%, respectively. The tetanic force depression was correlated with the combined reduction of ATP and PCr, and increase of lactate (r = 0.77, P = 0.009). Plasma venous [K+] increased from 4.0 ± 0.3 to 5.4 ± 0.8 mM over 1–3-min exercise. Central fatigue occurred during the early contractions in the quadriceps in 7 out of 17 participants (central activation ratio fell from 0.98 ± 0.05 to 0.86 ± 0.11 at 1 min), but dwindled at exercise cessation. Central fatigue was seldom apparent in adductor pollicis.

Conclusions

Fatigue with repeated MVC in human limb muscles mainly involves peripheral aspects which include impaired SR Ca2+-handling and we speculate that anaerobic metabolite changes are involved. A faster early force loss in quadriceps muscle with some participants is attributed to central fatigue.

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