Is curvature of the force-velocity relationship affected by oxygen availability? Evidence from studies in ex vivo and in situ rat muscles

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The power of shortening contractions in skeletal muscle is determined by the force-velocity relationship. Fatigue has been reported to either increase or decrease the force-velocity curvature depending on experimental circumstances. These discrepant findings may be related to experimental differences in oxygen availability. We therefore investigated how the curvature of the force-velocity relationship in soleus and gastrocnemius rat muscles is affected during fatigue, in both an ex vivo setup without an intact blood perfusion and in an in situ setup with an intact blood perfusion. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of reduced oxygen concentrations and reduced diffusion distance on the curvature of the force-velocity relationship in ex vivo muscles, where muscle oxygen uptake relies on diffusion from the incubation medium. Muscles were electrically stimulated to perform repeated shortening contractions and force-velocity curves were determined in rested and fatigued conditions. The curvature increased during fatigue in the soleus muscles (both in situ and ex vivo), and decreased for the gastrocnemius muscles (in situ) or remained unchanged (ex vivo). Furthermore, under ex vivo conditions, neither reduced oxygen concentrations nor reduced diffusion distance conferred any substantial effect on the force-velocity curvature. In contrast, reduced oxygen availability and increased diffusion distance did increase the loss of maximal power during fatigue, mainly due to additional decreases in isometric force. We conclude that oxygen availability does not influence the fatigue-induced changes in force-velocity curvature. Rather, the observed variable fatigue profiles with regard to changes in curvature seem to be linked to the muscle fiber-type composition.

TidsskriftPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Sider (fra-til)597-608
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - maj 2020

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