Force produced after stretch in sarcomeres and half-sarcomeres isolated from skeletal muscles

Sci Rep. 2013;3:2320. doi: 10.1038/srep02320.


The goal of this study was to evaluate if isolated sarcomeres and half-sarcomeres produce a long-lasting increase in force after a stretch is imposed during activation. Single and half-sarcomeres were isolated from myofibrils using micro-needles, which were also used for force measurements. After full force development, both preparations were stretched by different magnitudes. The sarcomere length (SL) or half-sarcomere length variations (HSL) were extracted by measuring the initial and final distances from the Z-line to the adjacent Z-line or to a region externally adjacent to the M-line of the sarcomere, respectively. Half-sarcomeres generated approximately the same amount of isometric force (29.0 ± SD 15.5 nN·μm(-2)) as single sarcomeres (32.1 ± SD 15.3 nN·μm(-2)) when activated. In both cases, the steady-state forces after stretch were higher than the forces during isometric contractions at similar conditions. The results suggest that stretch-induced force enhancement is partly caused by proteins within the half-sarcomere.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Elastic Modulus / physiology
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology*
  • Physical Stimulation / methods*
  • Rabbits
  • Sarcomeres / physiology*
  • Sarcomeres / ultrastructure*
  • Stress, Mechanical