Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Analysis of the unfused tetanus course in fast motor units of the rat medial gastrocnemius muscle.

J. Celichowski, M. Pogrzebna, R. T. Raikova


The course of unfused tetani with the sag effect in fast motor units of rat medial gastrocnemius was studied. The analysis of the course of successive contractions within these tetani showed that the high peak force at the beginning of tetanus before the sag resulted from temporary, very efficient sum mation of contractions at this phase, both in FF (fast fatigable) and FR (fast resistant to fatigue) units. The process of summation developed in spite of parallel shortening of the contraction and relaxation. The peak of tetanus force was visible on the average at the 2nd contraction in FF units and at the 5th contraction in FR units. After the tetanus peak the process of the efficient summation was completed and the force decreased what was visible as a sag. In the following part of the tetanus, mainly in FF units, the potentiation occurred and the force of successive contractions increased. The rise of force was visible in spite of shortening of the contraction time and was due to prolongation of the relaxation in this part of the tetanus. These observations indicated that the processes of the summation of successive contractions before sag and during the potentiation underwent different mechanisms discussed in this paper. Considerable release of Ca2+ ions from the sarcoplasmic reticulum was proposed as a possible mechanism responsible for a very efficient summation at the beginning of the tetanus whereas phosphorylation of regulatory light chain of myosin (RLC) in muscle fibers was considered as the reason of potentiation. Moreover, the present analysis revealed that previously found differences in tetani profiles between FF and FR units resulted from faster development of described changes in the course of contractions summating into the tetanus in FF motor units.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.