Purpose Muscle-tendon length can influence central and peripheral motor unit (MU) characteristics, but their interplay is unknown. This study aims to explain the effect of muscle length on MU firing and contractile properties by applying deconvolution of high-density surface EMG (HDEMG), and torque signals on the same MUs followed at different lengths during voluntary contractions. Methods Fourteen participants performed isometric ankle dorsiflexion at 10% and 20% of the maximal voluntary torque (MVC) at short, optimal, and long muscle lengths (90 degrees, 110 degrees, and 130 degrees ankle angles, respectively). HDEMG signals were recorded from the tibialis anterior, and MUs were tracked by cross-correlation of MU action potentials across ankle angles and torques. Torque twitch profiles were estimated using model-based deconvolution of the torque signal based on composite MU spike trains. Results Mean discharge rate of matched motor units was similar across all muscle lengths (P = 0.975). Interestingly, the increase in mean discharge rate of MUs matched from 10 to 20% MVC force levels at the same ankle angle was smaller at 110 degrees compared with the other two ankle positions (P = 0.003), and the phenomenon was explained by a greater increase in twitch torque at 110 degrees compared to the shortened and lengthened positions (P = 0.002). This result was confirmed by the deconvolution of electrically evoked contractions at different stimulation frequencies and muscle-tendon lengths. Conclusion Higher variations in MU twitch torque at optimal muscle lengths likely explain the greater force-generation capacity of muscles in this position.

(2022). The force-generation capacity of the tibialis anterior muscle at different muscle–tendon lengths depends on its motor unit contractile properties [journal article - articolo]. In EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/256289

The force-generation capacity of the tibialis anterior muscle at different muscle–tendon lengths depends on its motor unit contractile properties

Cudicio, Alessandro;Cogliati, Marta;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Purpose Muscle-tendon length can influence central and peripheral motor unit (MU) characteristics, but their interplay is unknown. This study aims to explain the effect of muscle length on MU firing and contractile properties by applying deconvolution of high-density surface EMG (HDEMG), and torque signals on the same MUs followed at different lengths during voluntary contractions. Methods Fourteen participants performed isometric ankle dorsiflexion at 10% and 20% of the maximal voluntary torque (MVC) at short, optimal, and long muscle lengths (90 degrees, 110 degrees, and 130 degrees ankle angles, respectively). HDEMG signals were recorded from the tibialis anterior, and MUs were tracked by cross-correlation of MU action potentials across ankle angles and torques. Torque twitch profiles were estimated using model-based deconvolution of the torque signal based on composite MU spike trains. Results Mean discharge rate of matched motor units was similar across all muscle lengths (P = 0.975). Interestingly, the increase in mean discharge rate of MUs matched from 10 to 20% MVC force levels at the same ankle angle was smaller at 110 degrees compared with the other two ankle positions (P = 0.003), and the phenomenon was explained by a greater increase in twitch torque at 110 degrees compared to the shortened and lengthened positions (P = 0.002). This result was confirmed by the deconvolution of electrically evoked contractions at different stimulation frequencies and muscle-tendon lengths. Conclusion Higher variations in MU twitch torque at optimal muscle lengths likely explain the greater force-generation capacity of muscles in this position.
articolo
2022
Cudicio, Alessandro; Martinez-Valdes, Eduardo; Cogliati, Marta; Orizio, Claudio; Negro, Francesco
(2022). The force-generation capacity of the tibialis anterior muscle at different muscle–tendon lengths depends on its motor unit contractile properties [journal article - articolo]. In EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/256289
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