Posttetanic potentiation of human dorsiflexors Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • O’Leary, Deborah D., Karen Hope, and Digby G. Sale.Posttetanic potentiation of human dorsiflexors. J. Appl. Physiol. 83(6): 2131–2138, 1997.—Twitch contractions of the ankle dorsiflexors were evoked before and after applied 7-s tetanic stimulation at 100 Hz in 20 young adults. Torque decreased 15% during the tetanus. At 5 s after tetanus, twitch peak torque had potentiated 45%. Potentiation declined to 28% after 1 min, rose slightly to 33% at 2 min, and declined slowly with potentiation still 25% after 5 min. There was large intersubject variation in the amount of potentiation (5–140%) and its persistence (5 to ≥20 min). The muscle compound action potential (M wave) did not change significantly (from pretetanic value) at 5 s after tetanus but increased sharply (26%) at 2 min and then subsided. Twitch half relaxation time (23%) decreased significantly more than twitch rise time (13%) 5 s after tetanus and recovered more slowly. Twitch rates of torque development (75%) and relaxation (71%) increased similarly 5 s after tetanus and were still elevated (∼25%) at 5 min. The extent of twitch torque potentiation was significantly inversely correlated with pretetanic twitch rise time ( r = −0.69), half relaxation time ( r = −0.61), and twitch-to-tetanus ratio ( r = −0.66). The data indicate that posttetanic potentiation has a greater effect on twitch half relaxation time than on time to peak torque and is more prominent in muscles with a short twitch time course and small twitch-to-tetanus ratio.

publication date

  • December 1, 1997