Impaired Mitochondrial Function and Reduced Energy Cost as a Result of Muscle Damage


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Abstract

PurposeAlthough it has been largely acknowledged that isometric neuromuscular electrostimulation (NMES) exercise induces larger muscle damage than voluntary contractions, the corresponding effects on muscle energetics remain to be determined. Voluntary exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) has been reported to have minor slight effects on muscle metabolic response to subsequent dynamic exercise, but the magnitude of muscle energetics alterations for NMES EIMD has never been documented.Methods31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy measurements were performed in 13 young healthy males during a standardized rest-exercise-recovery protocol before (D0) and 2 d (D2) and 4 d (D4) after NMES EIMD on knee extensor muscles. Changes in kinetics of phosphorylated metabolite concentrations (i.e., phosphocreatine [PCr], inorganic phosphate [Pi], and adenosine triphosphate [ATP]) and pH were assessed to investigate aerobic and anaerobic rates of ATP production and energy cost of contraction (Ec).ResultsResting [Pi]/[PCr] ratio increased at D2 (+39%) and D4 (+29%), mainly owing to the increased [Pi] (+43% and +32%, respectively), whereas a significant decrease in resting pH was determined (−0.04 pH unit and −0.03 pH unit, respectively). PCr recovery rate decreased at D2 (−21%) and D4 (−23%) in conjunction with a significantly decreased total rate of ATP production at D4 (−18%) mainly owing to an altered aerobic ATP production (−19%). Paradoxically, Ec was decreased at D4 (−21%).ConclusionOverall, NMES EIMD led to intramuscular acidosis in resting muscle and mitochondrial impairment in exercising muscle. Alterations of noncontractile processes and/or adaptive mechanisms to muscle damage might account for the decreased Ec during the dynamic exercise.

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