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Mechanics of stretch in activated crustacean slow muscle. I. Factors affecting peak force

, : Mechanics of stretch in activated crustacean slow muscle. I. Factors affecting peak force. Journal of Neurophysiology 62(5): 997-1005

1. The active stiffness of ventral superficial abdominal muscle (VSM) of the hermit crab, Pagurus pollicarus, was measured with ramp stretches of different amplitudes and velocities. Active stiffness was calculated by subtracting the peak force produced by passive stretch and the isometric force just before stretch from the peak force produced by stretching active muscle. The result was then divided by stretch length to give stiffness. 2. The relationship between force just before stretch (the level of activation) and active stiffness was curvilinear and was found to apply under a variety of experiment conditions. For pooled data from eight experiments, active stiffness (GN.m-2.m-1) = 3.2*stress (MN/m2)-7.6*stress2. Decreasing the number of motor units or activating the inhibitor did not alter this relationship nor did the addition of proctolin, octopamine, or 5-HT to the bath. The relationship also applied during the rising phase of isometric tension. However, stiffness declined more rapidly than predicted by this relationship after the end of tetanus. 3. Active stiffness varied inversely with stretch amplitude for fast stretches, and the slope of this relationship increased with increasing muscle activation. At lower stretch velocities, the slope was much less than at rapid stretch velocities, so at low levels of activation and stretch velocity, active stiffness was essentially independent of stretch length. 4. Active stiffness covaried with muscle force as both were sampled at shorter and shorter lengths on the ascending limb of the length-tension curve.


PMID: 2585050

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