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Covariance of Isometric and Dynamic Arm Contractions: Multivariate Genetic Analysis

  • Gunther De Mars (a1), Martine A. I. Thomis (a2), An Windelinckx (a3), Marc Van Leemputte (a4), Hermine H. Maes (a5), Cameron J. Blimkie (a6), Albrecht L. Claessens (a7), Robert Vlietinck (a8) and Gaston Beunen (a9)...

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences in maximal isometric, concentric and eccentric muscle strength and muscle cross-sectional area (MCSA) of the elbow flexors. A generality versus specificity hypothesis was explored to test whether the 4 strength variables share a genetic component or common factors in the environment or whether the genetic/environmental factors are specific for each strength variable. The 4 variables under study were measured in 25 monozygotic and 16 dizygotic male Caucasian twin pairs (22.4 ± 3.7 years). The multivariate genetic analyses showed that all 4 variables shared a genetic and environmental component, which accounted for 43% and 6% in MCSA (h2 = 81%), 47% and 20% in eccentric (h2 = 65%), 58% and 4% in isometric (h2 = 70%) and 32% and 1% in concentric strength (h2 = 32%) respectively. The remaining variation was accounted for by contraction type specific and muscle cross-sectional area specific genetic and environmental effects, which accounted for 38% and 14% in MCSA, 18% and 15% in eccentric, 12% and 26% in isometric and 0% and 67% in concentric strength respectively. This exploratory multivariate study suggests shared pleiotropic gene action for MCSA, eccentric, isometric and concentric strength, with a moderate to high genetic contribution to the variability of these characteristics.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Address for correspondence: Gunther De Mars Department of Biomedical Kinesiology, Research Center for Exercise and Health, Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium.
* Address for correspondence: Martine Thomis Department of Biomedical Kinesiology, Research Center for Exercise and Health, Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium.

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