Eccentric exercise-induced injuries to contractile and cytoskeletal muscle fibre components

Acta Physiol Scand. 2001 Mar;171(3):321-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-201x.2001.00834.x.


Exercise involving lengthening of an activated muscle can cause injury. Recent reports documented the mechanics of exercise-induced muscle injury as well as physiological and cellular events and manifestations of injury. Loss of the cytoskeletal protein desmin and loss of cellular integrity as evidenced by sarcolemmal damage occur early during heavy eccentric exercise. These studies indicate that the earliest events in muscle injury are mechanical in nature, while later events indicate that it may be more appropriate to conclude that intense exercise initiates a muscle remodeling process. We conclude that muscle injury after eccentric exercise is differently severe in muscles with different architecture, is fibre type-specific, primarily because of fibre strain in the acute phase, and is exacerbated by inflammation after the initial injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / pathology
  • Desmin / metabolism
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle Weakness / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Sarcolemma / pathology
  • Stress, Mechanical


  • Desmin