Force-velocity and Power Characteristics of Rat Soleus Muscle Fibers after Hindlimb Suspension

Document Type




Format of Original

8 p.

Publication Date



American Physiological Society

Source Publication

Journal of Applied Physiology

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1152/jappl.1994.77.4.1609


The effects of 1, 2, and 3 wk of hindlimb suspension (HS) on force-velocity and power characteristics of single rat soleus fibers were determined. After 1, 2, or 3 wk of HS, small fiber bundles were isolated, placed in skinning solution, and stored at -20 degrees C until studied. Single fibers were isolated and placed between a motor arm and force transducer, functional properties were studied, and fiber protein content was subsequently analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Additional fibers were isolated from soleus of control and after 1 and 3 wk of HS, and fiber type distribution and myosin light chain stoichiometry were determined from SDS-PAGE analysis. After 1 wk of HS, percent type I fibers declined from 82 to 74%, whereas hybrid fibers increased from 10 to 18%. Percent fast type II fibers increased from 8% in control and 1 wk of HS to 26% by 3 wk of HS. Most fibers showed an increased unloaded maximal shortening velocity (Vo), but myosin heavy chain remained entirely slow type I. The mechanism for increased Vo is unknown. There was a progressive decrease in fiber diameter (14, 30, and 38%) and peak force (38, 56, and 63%) after 1, 2, and 3 wk of HS, respectively. One week of HS resulted in a shift of the force-velocity curve, and between 2 and 3 wk of HS the curve shifted further such that Vo was higher than control at all relative loads < 45% peak isometric force. Peak absolute power output of soleus fibers progressively decreased through 2 wk of HS but showed no further change at 3 wk. The results suggest that between 2 and 3 wk the HS-induced alterations in the force-velocity relationship act to maintain the power output of single soleus fibers despite a continued reduction in fiber force.


Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 77, No. 4 (October 1994): 1609-1616. DOI.