Is the efficiency of mammalian (mouse) skeletal muscle temperature dependent?

J Physiol. 2010 Oct 1;588(Pt 19):3819-31. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.192799.


Myosin crossbridges in muscle convert chemical energy into mechanical energy. Reported values for crossbridge efficiency in human muscles are high compared to values measured in vitro using muscles of other mammalian species. Most in vitro muscle experiments have been performed at temperatures lower than mammalian physiological temperature, raising the possibility that human efficiency values are higher than those of isolated preparations because efficiency is temperature dependent. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of temperature on the efficiency of isolated mammalian (mouse) muscle. Measurements were made of the power output and heat production of bundles of muscle fibres from the fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and slow-twitch soleus muscles during isovelocity shortening. Mechanical efficiency was defined as the ratio of power output to rate of enthalpy output, where rate of enthalpy output was the sum of the power output and rate of heat output. Experiments were performed at 20, 25 and 30◦C. Maximum efficiency of EDL muscles was independent of temperature; the highest value was 0.31}0.01 (n =5) at 30◦C. Maximum efficiency of soleus preparations was slightly but significantly higher at 25 and 30◦C than at 20◦C; the maximum mean value was 0.48±0.02 (n =7) at 25◦C. It was concluded that maximum mechanical efficiency of isolated mouse muscle was little affected by temperature between 20 and 30◦C and that it is unlikely that differences in temperature account for the relatively high efficiency of human muscle in vivo compared to isolated mammalian muscles.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch / metabolism
  • Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch / physiology
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / metabolism
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Temperature
  • Thermodynamics