Fatigue and recovery of phosphorus metabolites and pH during stimulation of rat skeletal muscle: an evoked electromyography and in vivo 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy study

T Mizuno, Y Takanashi, K Yoshizaki, M Kondo
European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology 1994, 69 (2): 102-9
31P-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and evoked electromyography were applied to rat skeletal muscle to examine the mechanism of muscle fatigue and the recovery of muscle phosphorus metabolites and pH during fatigue. When the sciatic nerve was electrically stimulated at 1 Hz, the contraction force of the gastrocnemius muscle decreased gradually to 46% of the maximal force, accompanied by a decrease in phosphocreatine (PCr) and a corresponding increase in inorganic phosphate (P(i)) and diprotonated inorganic phosphate (H2PO4-). Neither the amplitudes of compound muscle action potentials (CMAP) nor muscle pH changed significantly. At 10-Hz stimulation, contraction force rapidly decreased to 26% of maximal force, accompanied by a decrease in PCr and increases in P(i) and H2PO4-. Muscle pH decreased for a few minutes, then gradually recovered during continued stimulation. The amplitude of the CMAP also decreased for a few minutes and then reached steady values. At 100-Hz stimulation, the contraction force decreased to 6% of the maximal force and there was a decrease in the amplitude of the CMAP. However, the changes in the phosphorus metabolites and pH were transient and recovered to the control value during the stimulation. These results indicated that fatigue at 1 and 100-Hz stimulation was mainly caused by the change in phosphorus metabolite concentrations and electrical failure, respectively, and that fatigue at 10-Hz stimulation might have been due to both of these factors. These results also indicated that electrical failure might have been the cause of the recovery of the phosphorus metabolites and pH during 100-Hz stimulation and of pH during 10-Hz stimulation.


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