Repeated ischaemic isometric exercise increases muscle fibre conduction velocity in humans: involvement of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase

G A Rongen, J P van Dijk, E E van Ginneken, D F Stegeman, P. Smits, M J Zwarts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This study was performed to test two hypotheses: (1) ischaemic preconditioning (development of tolerance to ischaemia) influences muscle fibre conduction velocity (MFCV) during repeated ischaemic isometric exercise and (2) the increase in MFCV to supranormal levels during recovery from ischaemic exercise is caused by activation of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase. For this purpose, MFCV was measured with surface electromyography (sEMG) during repeated ischaemic isometric exercise of the brachioradial muscle (2 min at 30 % of maximal voluntary contraction). The involvement of ischaemic preconditioning was tested by changing the duration of ischaemia and by intra-arterial infusion of adenosine (brachial artery, 50 microg min(-1) dl(-1)). The role of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase was explored using ouabain (0.2 microg min(-1) dl(-1)). During the exercise, MFCV decreased from 4.4 +/- 0.2 m s(-1) to 3.7 +/- 0.2 m s(-1) (P < 0.01, n = 13). Similar reductions in MFCV were observed during repeated exercise, irrespective of the reperfusion time (10 min vs. 18 min) or duration of the ischaemia (2 vs. 10 min). However, initial MFCV gradually increased for each subsequent contraction when contractions were repeated at 10 min intervals (4.4 +/- 0.2 m s(-1) vs. 4.9 +/- 0.2 m s(-1) for the first and fourth contraction respectively; P < 0.01; n = 13). This increase was not observed when contractions were performed at 18 min intervals, nor when additional ischaemia was applied. Intra-arterial adenosine did not affect MFCV. Intra-arterial ouabain did not affect the reduction in MFCV during exercise but completely prevented the increase in MFCV during recovery: from 4.7 +/- 0.2 m s(-1) to 5.2 +/- 0.2 m s(-1) vs. 4.5 +/- 0.1 m s(-1) to 4.5 +/- 0.1 m s(-1) in the absence and presence of ouabain respectively (P < 0.05 for ouabain effect; n = 6). In conclusion, ischaemic preconditioning is not involved in changes in MFCV during repeated ischaemic isometric exercise. The increase in MFCV during recovery from repeated ischaemic isometric exercise is caused by rapid activation of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1078
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue numberPt 3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Electromyography/methods
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Exercise/physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemia/physiopathology
  • Ischemic Preconditioning
  • Isometric Contraction/physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal/physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal/blood supply
  • Reference Values
  • Reperfusion
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase/metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Repeated ischaemic isometric exercise increases muscle fibre conduction velocity in humans: involvement of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this