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Calcium Sensitivity of Human Single Muscle Fibers following Plyometric Training


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: November 2006 - Volume 38 - Issue 11 - p 1901-1908
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000232022.21361.47
BASIC SCIENCES: Original Investigations

Purpose: To study the effect of plyometric training on Ca2+ sensitivity and the influence of troponin T (TnT) isoforms on Ca2+-activation properties in skinned human muscle fibers.

Methods: Biopsies were obtained from the vastus lateralis of eight men before and after the training period. Chemically skinned fibers were evaluated regarding their Ca2+-activation properties and were classified according to their myosin heavy chain (MHC) contents and analyzed regarding their slow and fast TnT isoforms.

Results: After training, significant improvements (P < 0.05) were found for static jump, countermovement jump, 6 × 5-m shuttle-run test, and leg-press performances. An 8% increase in the proportion of type IIa fibers (P < 0.05) was observed. Single-fiber diameters increased by 11% in type I (P < 0.01), 10% in type IIa (P < 0.001), and 15% in type IIa/IIx fibers (P < 0.001). Peak fiber force increased by 35% in type I (P < 0.001), 25% in type IIa (P < 0.001), and 57% in type IIa/IIx fibers (P < 0.01). The Ca2+-activation threshold was not altered by training, but the Ca2+ concentration required to elicit half-maximal activation showed a decreasing trend, with significant changes in type I fibers (P < 0.001). Cooperativity at low Ca2+ concentrations was increased in type I and type IIa/IIx fibers (P < 0.05). Type I fibers exclusively expressed slow TnT isoforms, and type II fibers were always associated with fast TnT isoforms, independent of training status. Therefore, changes in Ca2+ sensitivity after training could not be explained by differential fast or slow TnT isoform expression.

Conclusion: Plyometric training increased single-fiber Ca2+ sensitivity, especially in type I fibers. These changes could not be explained by a modified TnT isoform expression pattern.

1Department of Physical Education and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Catholic University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, BELGIUM; 2Laboratory of Biochemistry and Cellular Biology, University of Namur, Namur, BELGIUM; and 3Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, BELGIUM

Address for correspondence: Daniel Theisen, Ph.D., 1, place P. de Coubertin,B-1348 Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium; E-mail:

Submitted for publication January 2006.

Accepted for publication May 2006.

©2006The American College of Sports Medicine