|Title||Detrimental effects of reloading recovery on force, shortening velocity, and power of soleus muscles from hindlimb-unloaded rats.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Authors||Widrick, JJ, Maddalozzo, GF, Hu, H, Herron, JC, Iwaniec, UT, Turner, RT|
|Journal||American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology|
|Date Published||2008 Nov|
To better understand how atrophied muscles recover from prolonged nonweight-bearing, we studied soleus muscles (in vitro at optimal length) from female rats subjected to normal weight bearing (WB), 15 days of hindlimb unloading (HU), or 15 days HU followed by 9 days of weight bearing reloading (HU-R). HU reduced peak tetanic force (P(o)), increased maximal shortening velocity (V(max)), and lowered peak power/muscle volume. Nine days of reloading failed to improve P(o), while depressing V(max) and intrinsic power below WB levels. These functional changes appeared intracellular in origin as HU-induced reductions in soleus mass, fiber cross-sectional area, and physiological cross-sectional area were partially or completely restored by reloading. We calculated that HU-induced reductions in soleus fiber length were of sufficient magnitude to overextend sarcomeres onto the descending limb of their length-tension relationship upon the resumption of WB activity. In conclusion, the force, shortening velocity, and power deficits observed after 9 days of reloading are consistent with contraction-induced damage to the soleus. HU-induced reductions in fiber length indicate that sarcomere hyperextension upon the resumption of weight-bearing activity may be an important mechanism underlying this response.