Abstract Unaccustomed exercise involving stretch of active muscle at long length causes an immediate loss of tension-generating capacity, a shift of optimum length, and changes in excitation-contraction coupling. Eventually, fiber damage may be observed, resulting in pain and tenderness. The subject of this review is the early stage in this process, particularly the cause of the immediate drop in tension. There is strong evidence pointing to sarcomere length instabilities and nonuniformities as important contributors to these changes. The evidence includes the influence of initial length, electron microscopy of rapidly fixed active fibers, the shift in optimum length in single fibers, and the effects of training on sacomere numbers. Experiments using Ca 2+ -sensitive dyes clearly show changes in excitiation-contraction coupling, but cross-species comparisons indicate that these are not always able to explain the consequences seen. We conclude that sarcomere length instabilities provide the most comprehensive explanation of the early consequences of eccentric exercise. muscle damage sarcomere length instability eccentric exercise excitation-contraction coupling Footnotes Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: D. L. Morgan, Dept. of Electrical & Computer Systems Engineering, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ). Copyright © 1999 the American Physiological Society
Journal of Applied Physiology – The American Physiological Society
Published: Dec 1, 1999
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