Bioenergetic basis of skeletal muscle fatigue

Christopher W Sundberg, Robert H Fitts
Current opinion in physiology 2019, 10: 118-127
Energetic demand from high-intensity exercise can easily exceed ATP synthesis rates of mitochondria leading to a reliance on anaerobic metabolism. The reliance on anaerobic metabolism results in the accumulation of intracellular metabolites, namely inorganic phosphate (Pi ) and hydrogen (H+ ), that are closely associated with exercise-induced reductions in power. Cellular and molecular studies have revealed several steps where these metabolites impair contractile function demonstrating a causal role in fatigue. Elevated Pi or H+ directly inhibits force and power of the cross-bridge and decreases myofibrillar Ca2+ sensitivity, whereas Pi also inhibits Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). When both metabolites are elevated, they act synergistically to cause marked reductions in power, indicating that fatigue during high-intensity exercise has a bioenergetic basis.


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