Acute and sustained effects of isometricand lengthening muscle contractionson high-energy phosphates and glycogen metabolismin rat tibialis anterior muscle

  • Matthijs K. C. Hesselink
  • Harm Kuipers
  • Hans A. Keizer
  • Maarten R. Drost
  • Ger J. Van Der Vusse


Previous studies have shown that lengthening contractions, in contrast to isometric contractions, readily result in sustained malfunctioning of the exercised muscles. The present study was performed to investigate whether an exercise period with many (240) lengthening contractions (LC) results in alterations in muscle high-energy phosphates and inosine monophosphate (IMP) content, different from muscles performing a few (60) lengthening or a few (60) or many (240) isometric contractions (IC). Moreover, we sought for a possible cause(s) of the inability to replenish muscle glycogen stores following LC. Rat tibialis anterior muscles were subjected in vivo to either 60 or 240LC or IC. Structural muscle damage occurred only after 240LC. The fact that tissue glycogen levels declined to a similar extent during LC and IC suggests that the energy demand was comparable during both types of exercise. Nevertheless, the observation that on the one hand tissue stores of adenine nucleotides showed a greater decline, and on the other hand the tissue content of IMP increased to a significantly higher level after LC than after IC, clearly indicates that muscle energy metabolism is more disturbed during LC than during IC. The high tissue levels of IMP may contribute to impaired mechanical function as previously observed in muscles subjected to LC. In contrast to 240IC, 24 hours after 240LC, tissue glycogen stores and high-energy phosphate levels were not restored to control values. The present findings indicate that depressed glycogen synthase activity and impaired activity of the mitochondrial marker enzyme cytochrome C oxidase probably contribute to a continuous disturbance of energy metabolism in the exercised muscles during the 24 hours following 240 LC.


Muscle Damage Tibialis Anterior Isometric Contraction Muscle Glycogen Eccentric Exercise 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthijs K. C. Hesselink
    • 1
  • Harm Kuipers
    • 1
  • Hans A. Keizer
    • 1
  • Maarten R. Drost
    • 1
  • Ger J. Van Der Vusse
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Movement SciencesMaastricht UniversityMD MaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyMaastricht UniversityMD MaastrichtThe Netherlands

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