The Time Course of ATP Cleavage by Contracting Amphibian and Mammalian Skeletal Muscles

  • Earl Homsher
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 194)


The purpose of this paper is to describe our current understanding of the factors affecting the rate of energy utilitization, or ATP hydrolysis, by contracting muscles. While there are a variety of ways in which this question might be approached, historically the most productive methods have been the measurement of the enthalpy (heat+work) production and the measurement of changes in the high energy phosphate content of contracting muscles. The former technique involves the recording of heat and work production by thermopiles and work by force and displacement transducers. This technique has the advantage that it has a good frequency response (resolving changes in the rate of energy liberation in 10 msec) is quantitatively very accurate (to a fraction of a mW/g), and is non-destructive. Its primary disadvantage is its non-specificity; i.e., the myothermal recording represents the sum of all the rections taking place. The latter technique involves the measurement of the change in chemical content of acid extracts of paired whole muscles (one a control and the other an experimental muscle) which are rapidly frozen at specific times during a contraction.


Energy Liberation Sarcomere Length Flash Photolysis High Energy Phosphate Frog Skeletal Muscle 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Earl Homsher
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Physiology, School of MedicineUCLALos AngelesUSA

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