The bioenergetic correlates of skeletal muscle fatigue were assessed in vivo with phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance (31P-NMR) spectroscopy. After surgical construction of latissimus dorsi muscle ventricles, seven beagles underwent 31P-NMR spectroscopy during 12-min exercise protocols at 25- and 85-Hz stimulation frequencies and during both isovolumetric and dynamic contractions. Exercise at 85 Hz was associated with significantly greater fatigue than exercise at 25 Hz. At both frequencies, the onset of exercise was associated with a marked increase in inorganic phosphate (P(i)) and a decrease in phosphocreatine (PCr). As the muscle fatigued at 85 Hz but not at 25 Hz, the phosphorous spectra returned to near baseline with a decrease in P(i) and increase in PCr. For a given amount of force generated, the P(i)-to-PCr ratio was higher for dynamic contractions than for isovolumetric contractions. This study indicates that high-frequency fatigue is unlikely to result from the direct effects of high-energy phosphate metabolism and that contractions producing external work consume more metabolic energy than equally forceful isometric contractions.
- Latissimus dorsi
- Phosphorus nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
- Skeletal muscle fatigue