Indices of skeletal muscle damage and connective tissue breakdown following eccentric muscle contractions
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Indirect indices of exercise-induced human skeletal muscle damage and connective tissue breakdown were studied following a single bout of voluntary eccentric muscle contractions. Subjects (six female, two male), mean (SD) age 22 (2) years performed a bout of 50 maximum voluntary eccentric contractions of the knee extensors of a single leg. The eccentric exercise protocol induced muscle soreness (P < 0.05 Wilcoxon test), chronic force loss, and a decline in the 20:100 Hz percutaneous electrical myostimulation force ratio [P < 0.01, repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA)]. Serum creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities were elevated (P < 0.01, repeated measures ANOVA) following the bout. The mean (SD) CK and LDH levels recorded 3 days post-exercise were 2815 (4144) IU · l–1 and 375 (198) IU · l–1, respectively. Serum alkaline phosphatase activity showed no changes throughout the study, and a non-significant increase (P = 0.058, repeated measures ANOVA) in pyridinoline was recorded following the bout. Urinary hydroxyproline (HP) and hydroxylysine (HL) excretion, expressed in terms of creatinine (Cr) concentration, increased after exercise (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively, repeated measures ANOVA). An increased HP:Cr was recorded 2 days post-exercise and HL:Cr was increased above baseline on days 2, 5, and 9 post-exercise. This indirect evidence of exercise-induced muscle damage suggests that myofibre disruption was caused by the eccentric muscle contractions. Elevated urine concentrations of indirect indices of collagen breakdown following eccentric muscle contractions suggests an increased breakdown of connective tissue, possibly due to a localised inflammatory response.
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