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Influence of exercise on cardiac and skeletal muscle myofibrillar proteins

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The purpose of this study was to examine the Ca2+-Mg2+ myofibrillar ATPase and protein composition of cardiac and skeletal muscle following strenuous activity to voluntary exhaustion. Sprague-Dawley rats (200 g) were assigned to a control and exercised group, with the run group completing 25 m·min−1 and 8% grade for 1 hour. Following activity, the myocardial Ca2+−Mg2+ myofibrillar ATPase activity -pCa relationship had undergone a rightward shift in the curve. Electrophoretic analysis revealed a change in the pattern of cardiac myofibrillar protein bands, particularly in the 38–42 Kdalton region. Enzymatic analysis of myofibrillar proteins from plantaris muscle, revealed no change in Ca2+ regulation following exercise. Electronmicrographic and electrophoretic analysis revealed extensively disrupted sarcomeric structure and a change in the ratio of several plantaris myofibrillar proteins. No difference was observed for myosin: Actin: tropomyosin ratios; however a dramatic reduction in 58 and 95 Kdalton proteins were evident. The results indicate that prolonged running is associated with similar responses in cardiac and skeletal muscle myofibrillar protein compositions. The abnormalities in myofibrillar ultrastructure may implicate force transmission failure as a factor in exercised-induced muscle damage and/or fatigue.

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Correspondence to Angelo N. Belcastro.

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Belcastro, A.N., Parkhouse, W., Dobson, G. et al. Influence of exercise on cardiac and skeletal muscle myofibrillar proteins. Mol Cell Biochem 83, 27–36 (1988).

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Key words

  • fatigue
  • myofibril ATPase
  • Ca2+ regulation