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Comparison of Histochemical, Biochemical and Contractile Properties of Triceps Surae of Trained Aged Subjects*

  • L. Keh-Evans (a1), C. L. Rice (a1), E. G. Noble (a1), D. H. Paterson (a1), D. A. Cunningham (a1) and A. W. Taylor (a1)...

Abstract

Contractile, histochemical and biochemical properties of the triceps surae were compared in 13 aerobically trained male subjects aged 63 to 76 years. Electrical stimulation of the triceps surae was used to determine muscle twitch, tetanic, and fatigue parameters. From these tests, twitch tension (Pt), time to peak tension (TPT), half relaxation time (RT), tetanic tensions at 10(Po10), 20(Po20), and 50(Po50) Hz and a fatigue index (FI) were calculated. Muscle samples from the belly of the lateral head of the gastrocnemius were obtained using the needle biopsy technique. A portion of each sample was tested histochemically for myosin ATPase (pH 4.30, 4.58 and 10.00) and NADH-tetrazolium reductase in order to classify fibre types (ST, FTa, FTb) and to determine fibre areas. The remainder of each sample was analysed for succinic dehydrogenase (SDH) and phosphofructokinase (PFK) enzyme activities. Significant correlations were found between fibre areas (both ST and FT) and Po10/Po50 and FI. No significant relationships were noted between Pt, 1/2RT and MVC and any histochemical parameter. SDH and PFK activities did not correlate significantly with any histochemical or physiological parameter. Regular endurance exercise apparently does not retard the decline in contractile properties seen with the aging process. Substrate related regulatory enzyme activities (PFK) and marker enzyme activities (SDH) from skeletal muscle of the elderly are much lower than activities found in younger subjects, despite regular aerobic exercise.

L'étude avait pour but de comparer les propriétés contractiles, histochimiques et biochimiques du muscle triceps sural de 13 sujets mâles âgés de 63 à 76 ayant suivi un entrâinement aérobique. Une stimulation électrique fut appliquée au muscle triceps sural des sujets afin de déterminer les paramètres de secousse musculaire élémentaire, de tétanisation et de fatigue. Ces tests ont permis de calculer la tension de secousse musculaire (Pt), la tension TPT, le demi-temps de relaxation (1/2RT), les tensions tétaniques à 10(Po10), 20(Po20) et 50(Po50) Hz et un indice de fatigue (FI). Des échantillons du faisceau externe des muscles jumeaux du triceps furent prélevés par biopsie par aspiration. Une partie de chaque échantillon fut soumise à un examen histochimique afin de mesurer la myosine ATPasique (pH 4,30, 4,58 et 10,00) et la NADH-tétrazolium réductase et de pouvoir ainsi déterminer les zones fibreuses. Le reste de l'échantillon fut analysé afin de déceler l'activité enzymatique des déhydrogénase succinique et phosphofructokinase. D'importantes corrélations furent établies entre les zones fibreuses (ST et FI) et Po10/Po50 et FI. Par contre, pour aucun des paramètres histochimiques, on n'a relevé de lien significatif entre la Pt, la 172RT et le MVC. L'activité des SDH et PFK n'était corrélative à aucun paramètre histochimique ou psychologique. La fait de faire régulièrement des exercices d'endurance ne semble pas freiner le déclin des propriétés contractiles propres au vieillissement. Les activités enzymatiques régulatrices de substrat (PKF) et celles de marqueur (SDH) des muscles squelettiques sont plus faibles chez les personnes âgées que les sujets plus jeunes, et ce, en dépit du fait que les sujets s'adonnent à des exercices aérobiques.

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