Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Contractile characteristics of skeletal muscles depleted of phosphocreatine

  • 42 Accesses

  • 59 Citations


The contractile characteristics of skeletal muscle were evaluated after phosphocreatine depletion was accomplished by feeding weanling female rats a ground Chow diet containing 1% of β-guanidinopropionic acid for 10 weeks. Except for a slight decrease in initial strength and a 30% decrease in wet weight, phosphocreatine depleted plantaris muscles exhibited no abnormalities. By contrast, phosphocreatine depleted soleus muscles exhibited several significant abnormalities. In an isometric twitch, the rise time was prolonged from 57±6 ms (mean±S.D.) for 6 control rats to 87±6 for 6 phosphocreatine depleted rats, the amplitude was decreased from 264±11 g per g wet weight of muscle to 163±9, and the half-relaxation time was prolonged from 61±6 ms to 85±8. In addition the maximum velocity of shortening was reduced from 3 to 2 muscle lengths per second, the maximum isometric tension was reached at a lower frequency of synchronous stimulation (30 versus 50 Hz), the initial strength was reduced from 1,065±76 g per g wet weight of muscle to 752±69, and the isometric endurance was increased from 340±16 s to 973±95. The molecular basis for these effects of phosphocreatine depletion on the contractile characteristics of soleus muscles remains to be elucidated.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Aranio, M. A., Armstrong, R. B., Edgerton V. B.: Hindlimb muscle fiber populations of five mammals. J. Histochem. Cytochem.21, 51–55 (1973)

  2. Bigland, B., Lippold, O. C. J.: The relation between force, velocity, and integrated electrical activity in human muscles. J. Physiol. (Lond.)123, 214–224 (1954)

  3. Chevli, R., Fitch, C. D.: β-Guanidinopropionate and phosphorylated β-guanidinopropionate as substrates for creatine kinase. Biochem. Med.21, 162–167 (1979)

  4. Close, R.: Dynamic properties of skeletal muscles. Physiol. Rev.52, 129–197 (1972)

  5. Ennor, A. H., Morrison, J. F.: Biochemistry of the phosphagens and related guanidines. Physiol. Rev.38, 631–674 (1958)

  6. Fitsch, C. D.: Significance of abnormalities of creatine metabolism. In: Pathogenesis of human muscular dystrophies (L. P. Rowland, ed.), pp. 328–336, Amsterdam: Excerpta Medica 1977

  7. Fitch, C. D., Shields, R. P., Payne, W. F., Dacus, J. M.: Creatine metabolism in skeletal muscle. III. Specificity of the creatine entry process. J. Biol. Chem.243, 2024–2027 (1968)

  8. Fitch, C. D., Jellinek, M., Mueller, E. J.: Experimental depletion of creatine and phosphocreatine from skeletal muscle. J. Biol. Chem.249, 1060–1063 (1974)

  9. Fitch, C. D., Chevli, R.: Measurement ofβ-guanidinopropionate and phosphorylatedβ-guanidinopropionate in tissues. Anal. Biochem.68, 196–201 (1975)

  10. Fitch, C. D., Jellinek, M., Fitts, R. H., Baldwin, K. M., Holloszy, J. O.: Phosphorylated β-guanidinopropionate as a substitute for phosphocreatine in rat muscle. Am. J. Physiol.228, 1123–1125 (1975)

  11. Fitch, C. D., Chevli, R., Petrofsky, J. S., Kopp, S. J.: Sustained isometric contraction of skeletal muscle depleted of phosphocreatine. Life Sci.23, 1285–1292 (1978)

  12. Fitch, C. D., Chevli, R., Jellinek, M.: Phosphocreatine does not inhibit rabbit muscle phosphofructokinase or pyruvate kinase. J. Biol. Chem.254, 11351–11359 (1979)

  13. Fu, J. Y., Kemp, R. G.: Activation of muscle fructose-1, 6-diphosphatase by creatine phosphate and citrate. J. Biol. Chem.248, 1124–1125 (1973)

  14. Ingwall, J. S., Morales, M. F., Stockdale, F. E.: Creatine and the control of myosin synthesis in differentiating skeletal muscle. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA69, 2250–2253 (1972)

  15. Kemp, R. G.: Inhibition of muscle pyruvate kinase by creatine phosphate. J. Biol. Chem.248, 3963–3967 (1973)

  16. Lind, A. R., Petrofsky, J. S.: Isometric tension from rotary stimulation of fast and slow cat muscles. Nerve Muscle1, 213–218 (1978)

  17. Milner-Brown, H. S., Stein, R. B.: The relation between the surface electromyogram and muscular force. J. Physiol. (Lond.)246, 549–569 (1975)

  18. Olson, C. B., Carpenter, D. O., Henneman, E.: Orderly recruitment of muscle action potentials. Arch. Neurol.19, 591–597 (1968)

  19. Petrofsky, J. S.: Control of the recruitment and firing frequencies of motor units in electrically stimulated muscles in the cat. Med. Biol. Eng. Comput.16, 302–308 (1978)

  20. Petrofsky, J. S.: Sequential motor unit stimulation through peripheral motor nerves. Med. Biol. Eng. Comput.17, 87–93 (1979)

  21. Petrofsky, J. S., Lind, A. R.: Isometric endurance in fast and slow twitch skeletal muscle in the cat. Am. J. Physiol.236, C185-C191 (1979)

  22. Petrofsky, J. S., Philips, C. A.: Constant velocity contractions in skeletal muscle by sequential stimulation of muscle efferents. Accepted by Med. Biol. Eng. Comput. (1979)

  23. Rack, P. M. H., Westbury, D. R.: The effects of length and stimulus rate on tension in the isometric cat soleus muscle. J. Physiol. (Lond.)204, 443–460 (1969)

  24. Shields, R., Whitehair, C. K., Carrow, R. E., Heusner, W. W., Van Huss, W. D.: Skeletal muscle function and structure after depletion of creatine. Lab. Invest.33, 151–158 (1975)

  25. Uyeda, K., Racker, E.: Regulatory mechanisms in carbohydrate metabolism. VII. Hexokinase and phosphofructokinase. J. Biol. Chem.240, 4682–4688 (1965)

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Coy D. Fitch.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Petrofsky, J.S., Fitch, C.D. Contractile characteristics of skeletal muscles depleted of phosphocreatine. Pflugers Arch. 384, 123–129 (1980).

Download citation

Key words

  • Fast and slow muscle
  • Twitch
  • Isometric contractions
  • Isotonic contractions