Variation in isometric force after active shortening and lengthening and their mechanisms: a review

Rodrigo Troyack de Lima, Paulo Farinatti, Walace Monteiro, Carlos Gomes de Oliveira


Introduction: The isometric force history dependence of skeletal muscle has been studied along the last one hundred years. Several theories have been formulated to explain and establish the causes of the phenomenon, but not successfully, as they have not been fully accepted and demonstrated, and much controversy on such a subject still remains. Objective: To present a systematic literature review on the dynamics of the mechanisms of force depression and force enhancement after active shortening and lengthening, respectively, identifying the key variables involved in the phenomenon, and to date to present the main theories and hypothesis developed trying to explaining it. Method: The procedure of literature searching complied the major databases, including articles either, those which directly investigated the phenomena of force depression and force enhancement or those which presented possible causes and mechanisms associated with their respective events, from the earliest studies published until the year of 2010. Results: 97 references were found according to the criteria used. Conclusion: Based on this review, it is suggested that the theory of stress inhibition of actin-myosin cross-bridges is that better explain the phenomenon of force depression. Whereas regarding the force enhancement phenomenon, one theory have been well accepted, the increased number of actin-myosin cross-bridges in strong binding state influenced by the recruitment of passive elastic components, which hole is attributed to the titin filament.

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