Passive tension of rat skeletal soleus muscle fibers: Effects of unloading conditions

Thierry Toursel, Laurence Stevens, Henk Granzier, Yvonne Mounier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


In this work we studied changes in passive elastic properties of rat soleus muscle fibers subjected to 14 days of hindlimb unloading (HU). For this purpose, we investigated the titin isoform expression in soleus muscles, passive tension-fiber strain relationships of single fibers, and the effects of the thick filament depolymerization on passive tension development. The myosin heavy chain composition was also measured for all fibers studied. Despite a slow-to-fast transformation of the soleus muscles on the basis of their myosin heavy chain content, no modification in the titin isoform expression was detected after 14 days of HU. However, the passive tension-fiber strain relationships revealed that passive tension of both slow and fast HU soleus fibers increased less steeply with sarcomere length than that of control fibers. Gel analysis suggested that this result could be explained by a decrease in the amount of titin in soleus muscle after HU. Furthermore, the thick filament depolymerization was found to similarly decrease passive tension in control and HU soleus fibers. Taken together, these results suggested that HU did not change titin isoform expression in the soleus muscle, but rather modified muscle stiffness by decreasing the amount of titin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1465-1472
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Depolymerization
  • Hindlimb unloading
  • Myosin heavy chain
  • Titin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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