Six adult sheep and four newborn lambs (5 days old) were implanted with stimulator leads into the latissimus dorsi muscle and connected to a Myostim 7220 pacing system (Telectronics Pacing Systems, Inc., Englewood, CO). Electrical stimulation was started immediately after the operation. After 8 weeks of electrical stimulation, contractile force (CF) in adult sheep decreased to 76–81%, and to 78–82% in lambs. After 2 weeks' delay, CF in adults was 96–98%, and only 89–93% in lambs. After a 30 min intensive stress test, unconditioned control muscle lost 39% in lambs and 43% in adults. Muscle conditioned for 8 weeks lost 7–8% CF. However, after 2 weeks' delay, CF in adult muscle lost 33%, but only 12% in lambs. After cessation of electrical stimulation, the LDH-5 and LDH-1 + 2 fractions reverted to initial levels in adults, whereas in lambs, these levels continued to follow trends established during electrical stimulation. In both adults and lambs, the percent area occupied by the mitochondria increased during electrical stimulation by 6.9% in adults and 6.5% in lambs. After electrical stimulation cessation, the percent area in adults returned to baseline levels, whereas it continued to be elevated in lambs (3.3% vs 5.1%, respectively). The transformed muscle of the lamb did not revert to baseline levels after a delay period.
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