Advertisement

Fatigue pp 135-145 | Cite as

Neuromuscular Frequency-Coding and Fatigue

  • D. Kernell
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 384)

Abstract

In daily life, muscle fatigue often becomes noticeable as an apparent decline in the efficiency of force production by central commands, making it necessary to increase drive (or “effort”) to produce a constant motor output. Such aspects of fatigue may be caused by changes in the way in which synaptic messages arriving at the motoneurons are translated into forces by the muscle fibers. Therefore, an understanding of these neuromuscular gradation mechanisms is essential for any analysis of motor fatigue. A brief general review is given of 1) how muscle fibers transduce motoneuronal discharge rates into force; 2) how synaptic currents are transduced into motoneuronal discharge rates; 3) how activity-dependent changes in the neuromuscular transduction mechanisms contribute to neuromuscular fatigue; and 4) how the matching between the transduction mechanisms of motoneurons and those of their muscle fibers may help to optimize neuromuscular gradation efficiency and decrease the severity of fatigue.

Keywords

Motor Unit Medial Gastrocnemius Muscle Length Experimental Brain Research Neuromuscular Fatigue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bakels R & Kernell D (1993a). Matching between motoneurone and muscle unit properties in rat medial gastrocnemius. Journal of Physiology (London) 463, 307–324.Google Scholar
  2. Bakels R & Kemell D (1993b). “Average” but not “continuous” speed-match between motoneurons and muscle units of rat tibialis anterior. Journal of Neurophysiology, 70, 1300–1306.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bakels R & Kernell D (1994). Threshold-spacing in motoneurone pools of rat and cat: possible relevance for manner of force gradation. Experimental Brain Research 102, 69–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baldissera F, Campadelli P & Piccinelli L (1987). The dynamic response of cat gastrocnemius motor units investigated by ramp current injection into their motoneurones. Journal of Physiology (London) 387, 317–330.Google Scholar
  5. Bevan L, Laouris Y, Reinking RM & Stuart DG (1992). The effect of the stimulation pattern on the fatigue of single motor units in adult cats. Journal of Physiology (London) 449, 85–108.Google Scholar
  6. Bigland-Ritchie BR, Furbush FH, Gandevia SC & Thomas CK (1992a). Voluntary discharge frequencies of human motoneurons at different muscle lengths. Muscle & Nerve 15, 130–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bigland-Ritchie B, Johansson R, Lippold OCJ, Smith S & Woods JJ (1983a). Changes in motoneurone firing rates during sustained maximal voluntary contractions. Journal of Physiology (London) 340, 335–346.Google Scholar
  8. Bigland-Ritchie B, Johansson R, Lippold OCJ & Woods JJ (1983b). Contractile speed and EMG changes during fatigue of sustained maximal voluntary contractions. Journal of Neurophysiology 50, 313–324.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Bigland-Ritchie B, Thomas CK, Rice CL, Howarth JV & Woods JJ (1992b). Muscle temperature, contractile speed, and motoneuron firing rates during human voluntary contractions. Journal of Applied Physi-ology 73, 2457–2461.Google Scholar
  10. Binder MD, Heckman CJ & Powers RK (1993). How different afferent inputs control motoneuron discharge and the output of the motoneuron pool. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 3, 1028–1034.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Binder-Macleod SA & Barker CB (1991). Use of a catchike property of human skeletal muscle to reduce fatigue. Muscle & Nerve 14, 850–857.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Binder-Macleod SA & Clamann HP (1989). Force output of cat motor units stimulated with trains of linearly varying frequency. Journal of Neurophysiology 61, 208–217.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Botterman BR, Iwamoto GA & Gonyea WJ (1986). Gradation of isometric tension by different activation rates in motor units of cat flexor carpi radialis muscle. Journal of Neurophysiology 56, 494–506.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Brownstone RM, Jordan LM, Kriellaars DJ, Noga BR & Shefchyk SJ (1992). On the regulation of repetitive firing in lumbar motoneurones during fictive locomotion in the cat. Experimental Brain Research 90, 441–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Buller AJ & Lewis DM (1965). The rate of tension development in isometric tetanic contractions of mammalian fast and slow skeletal muscle. Journal of Physiology (London) 176, 337–354.Google Scholar
  16. Burke RE, Rudomin P & Zajac FE (1976). The effect of activation history on tension production by individual muscle units. Brain Research 109, 515–529.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Carp JS, Powers RK & Rymer WZ (1991). Alterations in motoneuron properties induced by acute dorsal spinal hemisection in the decerebrate cat. Experimental Brain Research 83, 539–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cooper RG, Edwards RHT, Gibson H & Stokes MJ (1988). Human muscle fatigue: Frequency dependence of excitation and force generation. Journal of Physiology (London) 397, 585–599.Google Scholar
  19. Cooper S & Eccles JC (1930). The isometric responses of mammalian muscles. Journal of Physiology (London) 69, 377–385.Google Scholar
  20. Desmedt JE & Godaux E (1977). Ballistic contractions in man: characteristic recruitment pattern of single motor units of the tibialis anterior muscle. Journal of Physiology (London) 264, 673–693.Google Scholar
  21. Edwards RHT, Hill DK, Jones DA & Merton PA (1977). Fatigue of long duration in human skeletal muscle after exercise. Journal of Physiology (London) 272, 769–778.Google Scholar
  22. Enoka RM & Stuart DG (1992). Neurobiology of muscle fatigue. Journal of Applied Physiology 72, 1631–1648.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gardiner PF & Kernell D (1990). The “fastness” of rat motoneurones: time-course of afterhyperpolarization in relation to axonal conduction velocity and muscle unit contractile speed. Pflügers Archiv 415, 762–766.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grimby L, Hannerz J & Hedman B (1979). Contraction time and voluntary discharge properties of individual short toe extensor motor units in man. Journal of Physiology (London) 289, 191–201.Google Scholar
  25. Heckman CJ, Weytjens JLF & Loeb GE (1992). Effect of velocity and mechanical history on the forces of motor units in the cat medial gastrocnemius muscle. Journal of Neurophysiology 68, 1503–1515.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Henneman E & Mendell LM (1981). Functional organization of motoneuron pool and its inputs. In: Brookhart JM, Mountcastle VB (sec. eds.), Brooks VB (vol. ed.), Handbook of Physiology, sec. 1, vol. II, pt 1, The Nervous System: Motor Control., pp. 423–507. Bethesda, MD: American Physiological Society.Google Scholar
  27. Jami L, Murthy KSK, Petit J & Zytnicki D (1983). After-effects of repetitive stimulation at low frequency on fast-contracting motor units of cat muscle. Journal of Physiology (London) 340, 129–143.Google Scholar
  28. Jones DA, Bigland-Ritchie B & Edwards RHT (1979). Excitation frequency and muscle fatigue: Mechanical responses during voluntary and stimulated contractions. Experimental Neurology 64, 401–413.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kernell D (1965a). High-frequency repetitive firing of cat lumbosacral motoneurones stimulated by long-lasting injected currents. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica 65, 74–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kernell D (1965b). The limits of firing frequency in cat lumbosacral motoneurones possessing different time course of afterhyperpolarization. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica 65, 87–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kernell D (1992). Organized variability in the neuromuscular system: A survey of task-related adaptations. Archives Italiennes de Biologie 130, 19–66.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Kernell D, Ducati A & Sjöholm H (1975). Properties of motor units in the first deep lumbrical muscle of the cat’s foot. Brain Research 98, 37–55.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kernell D, Eerbeek O & Verhey BA (1983). Relation between isometric force and stimulus rate in cat’s hindlimb motor units of different twitch contraction time. Experimental Brain Research 50, 220–227.Google Scholar
  34. Kernell D & Hultborn H (1990). Synaptic effects on recruitment gain: a mechanism of importance for the input-output relations of motoneurone pools? Brain Research 507, 176–179.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kernell D & Monster AW (1982a). Time course and properties of late adaptation in spinal motoneurones in the cat. Experimental Brain Research 46, 191–196.Google Scholar
  36. Kernell D & Monster AW (1982b). Motoneurone properties and motor fatigue. An intracellular study of gastrocnemius motoneurones of the cat. Experimental Brain Research 46, 197–204.Google Scholar
  37. Macefield VG, Gandevia SC, Bigland-Ritchie B, Gorman RB & Burke D (1993). The firing rates of human motoneurones voluntarily activated in the absence of muscle afferent feedback. Journal of Physiology (London) 471, 429–443.Google Scholar
  38. Marsden CD, Meadows JC & Merton PA (1983). “Muscular wisdom” that minimizes fatigue during prolonged effort in man: peak rates of motoneurone discharge and slowing of discharge during fatigue. In: Desmedt J.E. (ed.), Motor Control Mechanisms in Health and Disease, pp. 169–211. New York: Raven Press.Google Scholar
  39. McCloskey DI (1981). Corollary discharges: motor commands and perception. In: Brookhart JM, Mountcastle VB (sec. eds.), Brooks VB (vol. ed.), Handbook of Physiology, sec. 1, vol. II, pt 2, The Nervous System: Motor Control, pp. 1415-1447. Bethesda, MD: American Physiological Society.Google Scholar
  40. Nagesser AS, Van der Laarse WJ & Elzinga G (1992). Metabolic changes with fatigue in different types of single muscle fibres of Xenopus Laevis. Journal of Physiology (London) 448, 511–523.Google Scholar
  41. Parmiggiani F & Stein RB (1981). Nonlinear summation of contractions in cat muscles. II. Later facilitation and stiffness changes. Journal of General Physiology 78, 295–311.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Powers RK & Binder MD (1991). Effects of low-frequency stimulation on the tension-frequency relations of fast-twitch motor units in the cat. Journal of Neurophysiology 66, 905–918.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Rack PMH & Westbury DR (1969). The effects of length and stimulus rate on tension in the isometric cat soleus muscle. Journal of Physiology (London) 204, 443–460.Google Scholar
  44. Ranatunga KW (1982). Temperature-dependence of shortening velocity and rate of isometric tension development in rat skeletal muscle. Journal of Physiology (London) 329, 465–483.Google Scholar
  45. Sargeant AJ (1987). Effect of muscle temperature on leg extension force and short-term power output in humans. European Journal of Applied Physiology 56, 693–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Spielmann JM, Laouris Y, Nordstrom MA, Robinson GA, Reinking RM & Stuart DG (1993). Adaptation of cat motoneurons to sustained and intermittent extracellular activation. Journal of Physiology (Lon-don) 464, 75–120.Google Scholar
  47. Stephens JA, Reinking RM & Stuart DG (1975). The motor units of cat medial gastrocnemius: Electrical and mechanical properties as a function of muscle length. Journal of Morphology 146, 495–512.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tax AAM, Van der Gon JJD, Gielen CCAM & Van den Tempel CMM (1989). Differences in the activation of m. biceps brachii in the control of slow isotonic movements and isometric contractions. Experimental Brain Research 76, 55–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Thomas CK, Bigland-Ritchie B & JohanssonRS (1991). Force-frequency relationships of human thenar motor units. Journal of Neurophysiology 65, 1509–1516.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. van der Linden DW, Kukulka CG & Soderberg GL (1991). The effect of muscle length on motor unit discharge characteristics in human tibialis anterior muscle. Experimental Brain Research 84, 210–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Woods JJ, Furbush F & Bigland-Ritchie B (1987). Evidence for a fatigue-induced reflex inhibition of motoneuron firing rates. Journal of Neurophysiology 58, 125–137.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Zengel JE, Reid SA, Sypert GW & Munson JB (1985). Membrane electrical properties and prediction of motor-unit type of medial gastrocnemius motoneurons in the cat. Journal of Neurophysiology 53, 1323–1344.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Kernell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical PhysiologyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations