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, 173 (3), 285-92

Active Length-Tension Relation and the Effect of Muscle Pinnation on Fiber Lengthening

Active Length-Tension Relation and the Effect of Muscle Pinnation on Fiber Lengthening

Z F Muhl. J Morphol.

Abstract

The active length-tension relation was determined for the left digastric muscle of seven New Zealand White rabbits anesthetized with pentobarbital. Measurements of muscle length and fiber architecture were made from photographs of resting and actively contracting muscle. There was a marked difference between length-tension curves based upon resting as compared to active muscle length. The active length-tension relation had a longer descending limb than ascending limb, whereas the length-tension relation based on passive muscle length tended to be symmetrical around optimum length. On the average, muscle fibers lengthened 0.77 mm for each 1 mm of extension of the muscle belly. Since the rabbit digastric muscle is unipinnate, this suggests that pinnation serves to enhance the range of muscle excursion in this muscle.

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