Neuromuscular adaptations in rats trained by muscle stretch-shortening

  • Maria-Izabel Almeida-Silveira
  • Chantal Pérot
  • Francis Goubel
Original Article


The aim of this study was the analysis of neurophysiological, mechanical and histochemical parameters to demonstrate muscle adaptation with training. If the parameters studied were to show correlated changes, it would be possible to propose that the neural and the muscle components of motor units are both affected by the training programme used. The training consisted of repeated stretch-shortening cycles known to use extensively fast fibres. After the training period electromyographical reflex activities of the ankle plantar-flexors were recorded in awake rats and then mechanical and histochemical measurements were made on isolated soleus muscles of the control and trained rats. The reflexes studied were the H-response to electrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve and the T-response to an Achilles tendon tap. The H-response analysis indicated a decrease in reflex excitability of the trained muscles. The trained soleus muscle also presented a higher contractility as demonstrated by significantly smaller twitch contraction times and higher maximal velocities of shortening measured during tetanic contractions. The reflex and contractile muscle changes were accompanied by relative increases in the number of type II fibres. The T-response was not significantly modified by training despite the decrease in motoneuron excitability demonstrated by the decrease in H-response. This would suggest that the peripheral components of the reflex pathway such as tendon stiffness and/or spindle sensitivity might be modified by training. This would imply that both the motor and the sensory parts of a muscle are affected by training.

Key words

H-reflex Contractility Exercise Muscle adaptation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria-Izabel Almeida-Silveira
    • 1
  • Chantal Pérot
    • 1
  • Francis Goubel
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de Génie Biologique, URA CNRS 858Université de Technologie de CompiègneCompiègneFrance

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