Effect of exercise training on passive stiffness in locomotor skeletal muscle: Role of extracellular matrix

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of endurance exercise training on both locomotor skeletal muscle collagen characteristics and passive stiffness properties in the young adult and old rat. Young (3- mo-old) and senescent (23-mo-old) male Fischer 344 rats were randomly assigned to either a control or exercise training group [young control (YC), old control (OC), young trained (YT), old trained (OT)]. Exercise training consisted of treadmill running at ~70% of maximal oxygen consumption (45 min/day, 5 days/wk, for 10 wk). Passive stiffness (stress/strain) of the soleus (Sol) muscle from all four groups was subsequently measured in vitro at 26°C. Stiffness was significantly greater for Sol muscles in OC rats compared with YC rats, but in OT rats exercise training resulted in muscles with stiffness characteristics not different from those in YC rats. Sol muscle collagen concentration and the level of the nonreducible collagen cross-link hydroxylysylpyridinoline (HP) significantly increased from young adulthood to senescence. Although training had no effect on Sol muscle collagen concentration in either age group, it resulted in a significant reduction in the level of Sol muscle HP in OT rats. In contrast, exercise had no effect on HP in the YT animals. These findings indicate that 10 wk of endurance exercise significantly alter the passive viscoelastic properties of Sol muscle in old but not in young adult rats. The coincidental reduction in the principal collagen cross-link HP also observed in response to training in OT muscle highlights the potential role of collagen in influencing passive muscle viscoelastic properties.

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Journal of applied physiology





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This article was published in Journal of applied physiology, Volume 85, Issue 3, Pages 1011-1016.

The published version is available at http://jap.physiology.org/ .

Copyright © 1998.

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