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The myotendinous junction (MTJ) is a highly specialized region of the locomotor apparatus. Here, we investigated the ultrastructural and molecular effects in the MTJ region after static stretching prior to the ladder-based resistance training. Thirty-two male, 60-day old Wistar rats were divided into four groups: Sedentary, Resistance Training, Stretching, and Stretching-Resistance Training. The gastrocnemius muscle was processed for transmission electron microscopy techniques and Western blot assay. We observed that the static stretching prior to the ladder-based resistance training increased the MTJ components, the fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2 and FGF-6 protein expression. Also, we demonstrated the lower transforming growth factor expression and no difference in the lysyl oxidase expression after combined training. The MTJ alterations in response to combined training demonstrate adaptive mechanisms which can be used for the prescription or development of methods to reduce or prevent injuries in humans and promote the myotendinous interface benefit.
Static stretching provides benefits to the range of motion, modulates intramuscular connective tissue, and is incorporated into warm-up exercises. In this study, we present the effects in the motor endplate and belly muscle resulting from previous static stretching to climbing training. Twenty-four adult male Wistar rats were divided into four groups (n = 6 each): Sedentary (Sed), Climbing (Clb), Static stretching (Ss), and Static stretching prior to climbing (Ssc). The animals (Clb, Ss, and Ssc groups) were subjected to a training protocol 3×/week for 8 weeks, and the Ssc group was subjected to the Ss and Clb protocols in the same session. Samples from the animals were processed for immunostaining, histochemistry, and light microscopy. The Clb group presented a higher motor endplate; the Ss group presented no changes in the motor endplate; and the Ssc group demonstrated a higher compactness. We concluded that static stretching prior to the climbing protocol maintained the density of the motor endplate and increased the compactness of the neuromuscular junction structure. Also, there was a reduction in the myofibers’ diameter (Type I and IIa), an increase in myofibrillar densities (Type I and IIx, and total), and the reorganization of the myonuclei and the interstitium.
Obesity is characterized by excess adipose tissue and chronic inflammation and promotes extensive changes that can compromise skeletal muscles’ structural and functional integrity. Obesity can seriously impact the force transmission region between the muscle and the tendon, the myotendinous junction (MTJ). The present study aimed to investigate the plasticity of muscle fibers and MTJ regions in high-fat diet-induced obesity in rat tibialis anterior (TA) and soleus (SO) muscles. Wistar rats were divided into control and obese groups (induced by a high-fat diet). The samples of TA and SO muscles were prepared for histochemical and ultrastructural analysis (sarcomeres and MTJ projection). In the muscle fiber, similar adaptations were observed between the muscles of the smaller fiber (types I and IIa) in the obesity results. The MTJ region demonstrated different adaptations between the analyzed muscles. The TA–MTJ region has shorter ultrastructures, while in the SO–MTJ region, the ultrastructures were larger. We conclude that obesity induced by a high-fat diet promotes similar adaptation in the muscle fibers; however, in the MTJ region, the sarcoplasmatic projections and adjacent sarcomere demonstrate different adaptations according to distinct muscle phenotypes.
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