Age-dependent fatigue in single intact fast- and slow fibers from mouse EDL and soleus skeletal muscles

Mech Ageing Dev. 2001 Jul 31;122(10):1019-32. doi: 10.1016/s0047-6374(01)00229-9.


In the present work, we investigate age-dependent changes in isometric endurance in response to repetitive stimulation in single intact fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers from young and old mice. To examine this issue we performed in vitro experiments in manually dissected EDL and soleus muscle fibers. We examined the force generation capacity of fibers in response to two stimulation protocols characterized by different inter-tetanic intervals, named short (1-s) and long interval (3.65-s). Fatigability was measured according to the fatigue index (FI, ratio between the maximum tension recorded in the last over the first tetanus in a train of pulses), the time course of the FI and sag (gradual decrease in force during a partially fused tetanic contraction). Fibers were classified according to the FI using two different criteria previously used in the literature (first criterion: FI > or = 1, 075-099, 0.5-074 and < 0.5; second criterion: FI > or = 1, 0.75-0.99, 0.25-0.74 and < 0.25). The fatigue index distribution recorded in the population of fibers corresponding to EDL and soleus muscles from young and old mice studied with the short and long interval protocols was not statistically different. In summary, these results support the concept that the decline in mechanical performance with aging is not related with changes in fatigability of individual fast- or slow twitch muscles fibers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch / physiology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Time Factors