The current study tested the hypotheses that 1) an acute bout of aerobic exercise impairs isolated skeletal muscle contractile properties and 2) N-acetylcysteine (a thiol antioxidant; NAC) administration can restore the impaired muscle contractility after exercise.Main methods:
At rest or immediately after an acute bout of aerobic exercise, extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus muscles from male Wistar rats were harvested for ex vivo skeletal muscle contraction experiments. Muscles from exercised animals were incubated in Krebs Ringer's buffer in absence or presence of 20 mM of NAC. Force capacity and fatigue properties were evaluated.Key findings:
Exercised EDL and soleus displayed lower force production across various stimulation frequencies (p < 0.001), indicating that skeletal muscle force production was impaired after an acute bout of exercise. However, NAC treatment restored the loss of force production in both EDL and soleus after fatiguing exercise (p < 0.05). Additionally, NAC treatment increased relative force production at different time points during a fatigue-induced protocol, suggesting that NAC treatment mitigates fatigue induced by successive contractions.Significance:
NAC treatment improves force capacity and fatigue properties in ex vivo skeletal muscle from rats submitted to an acute bout of aerobic exercise.