Muscle shortening and stretch are associated with force depression and force enhancement, respectively. Previously, we have investigated the effect of combined dynamic contractions (i.e. a single shortening-stretch and stretch-shortening cycle) on force production (Herzog and Leonard, 2000). In order to investigate the relationship between force depression and force enhancement systematically, we studied the effects of a single as well as multiple stretch-shortening and shortening-stretch cycles on the ascending limb of the force-length relationship. Furthermore, by systematically varying the speed and magnitude of stretch preceding shortening and the speed and magnitude of shortening preceding stretch, we investigated the influence of these varying contractile conditions on force depression and force enhancement, respectively. Test contractions were performed on cat soleus (n=6) by electrical stimulation using four conceptually different protocols containing a single or repeated stretch-shortening and shortening-stretch cycles. The results of this study showed that: (1) force depression was not influenced by stretch preceding shortening independent of the speed and amount of stretch; (2) force enhancement was influenced in a dose-dependent manner by the amount of shortening preceding stretch but was not affected by the speed of shortening; (3) repeated stretch-shortening (shortening-stretch) cycles showed cumulative effects; (4) the number of shortening steps over a given distance did not influence the amount of force depression. The findings of this study support the idea that the mechanism of force depression associated with muscle shortening is different from that of force enhancement associated with muscle stretch. Furthermore, they support and extend our previous findings that stretch-shortening and shortening-stretch cycles are not commutative.