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Sympathetic Actions on the Skeletal Muscle

Roatta, Silvestro1; Farina, Dario2

Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews: January 2010 - Volume 38 - Issue 1 - p 31-35
doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e3181c5cde7

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) modulates several functions in skeletal muscle fibers, including metabolism, ionic transport across the membrane, and contractility. These actions, together with the sympathetic control of other organ systems, support intense motor activity. However, some SNS actions on skeletal muscles may not always be functionally advantageous. Implications for motor control and sport performance are discussed.

1Department of Neuroscience, Physiology Division, University of Torino Medical School, Torino, Italy; and 2Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark

Address for correspondence: Silvestro Roatta, Ph.D., Dip. Neuroscienze, Sez.Fisiologia, Università di Torino, Raffaello 30, 10125 Torino, Italy (

Accepted for publication: September 9, 2009.

Associate Editor: Roger M. Enoka, Ph.D.

©2010 The American College of Sports Medicine