Kinesiology & Health Sciences
Muscle & Nerve
Introduction: The potential of gender to affect unloading-induced neuromuscular adaptations was investigated. Methods: Twenty male and 20 female rats were assigned to control (CTL), or unloaded (UL) conditions. After 2 weeks of unloading, soleus muscles were removed, and neuromuscular function was assessed during a train of alternating indirect (neural) and direct (muscle) stimuli. Results: In rested muscle, strength showed significant (P female) and treatment (CTL > UL). By the end of the testing protocol, when muscles showed fatigue, gender-related and treatment-related differences in strength had disappeared. Neuromuscular transmission efficiency and strength suffered a greater decline during the testing protocol in males than females. Unloaded male muscles displayed greater contractile velocity than female muscles both when rested and fatigued. Conclusions: Gender affected unloading-induced neuromuscular adaptations. The greater strength of rested male muscles was due to greater muscle mass and neuromuscular transmission efficiency.
Deschenes, M. R., & Leathrum, C. M. (2016). Gender‐specific neuromuscular adaptations to unloading in isolated rat soleus muscles. Muscle & nerve, 54(2), 300-307.