The age-related reduction in muscle force cannot be fully explained by the loss of muscle fiber mass or degeneration of myofibers. Our previous study showed that changes in lateral transmission of force could affect the total force transmitted to the tendon. The extracellular matrix (ECM) of skeletal muscle plays an important role in lateral transmission of force. The objective of this study was to define the effects of aging on lateral transmission of force in skeletal muscles, and explore possible underlying mechanisms. In vitro contractile tests were performed on extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle of young and old rats with series of tenotomy and myotomy. We concluded that lateral transmission of force was impaired in the old rats, and this deficit could be partly due to increased thickness of the ECM induced by aging.
Keywords: Aging; Extracellular matrix of skeletal muscle; Lateral transmission; Myotomy; Tenotomy.
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