Robert H. Fitts

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Fatigue, defined as the failure to maintain the required or expected power output, is a complex problem, since multiple factors are clearly involved, with the relative importance of each dependent on the fiber type composition of the contracting muscles(s), and the intensity, type, and duration of the contractile activity. The primary sites of fatigue(More)
Spaceflight (SF) has been shown to cause skeletal muscle atrophy; a loss in force and power; and, in the first few weeks, a preferential atrophy of extensors over flexors. The atrophy primarily results from a reduced protein synthesis that is likely triggered by the removal of the antigravity load. Contractile proteins are lost out of proportion to other(More)
The functional correlates of fatigue observed in both animals and humans during exercise include a decline in peak force (P0), maximal velocity, and peak power. Establishing the extent to which these deleterious functional changes result from direct effects on the myofilaments is facilitated through understanding the molecular mechanisms of the cross-bridge(More)
The aim of this investigation was to document the exercise program used by crewmembers (n = 9; 45 +/- 2 yr) while aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for 6 mo and examine its effectiveness for preserving calf muscle characteristics. Before and after spaceflight, we assessed calf muscle volume (MRI), static and dynamic calf muscle performance, and(More)
1. Soleus biopsies were obtained from four male astronauts 45 days before and within 2 h after a 17 day spaceflight. 2. For all astronauts, single chemically skinned post-flight fibres expressing only type I myosin heavy chain (MHC) developed less average peak Ca2+ activated force (Po) during fixed-end contractions (0.78 +/- 0. 02 vs. 0.99 +/- 0.03 mN) and(More)
Our purpose is to summarize the major effects of space travel on skeletal muscle with particular emphasis on factors that alter function. The primary deleterious changes are muscle atrophy and the associated decline in peak force and power. Studies on both rats and humans demonstrate a rapid loss of cell mass with microgravity. In rats, a reduction in(More)
1. Intramembrane charge movements and changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration (Ca2+ transients) elicited by pulse depolarization were measured in frog fast twitch cut muscle fibres under voltage clamp. 2. Extracellular solutions with very low [Ca2+] and 2 mM-Mg2+ , shown in the previous paper to reduce Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR),(More)
Based on the MHC isoform pattern, adult mammalian limb skeletal muscles contain two and, in some species, three types of fast fibers (Type IIa, IIx, and IIb), and one slow fiber (Type I). Slow muscles, such as the soleus, contain primarily the slow Type I fiber, whereas fast-twitch muscles are composed primarily of a mixture of the fast myosin isozymes.(More)
The primary goal of this study was to determine the effects of prolonged space flight (180 days) on the structure and function of slow and fast fibres in human skeletal muscle. Biopsies were obtained from the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of nine International Space Station crew members 45 days pre- and on landing day (R+0) post-flight. The main findings(More)
The purpose of this investigation was to assess muscle fiber size, composition, and in vivo contractile characteristics of the calf muscle of four male crew members during a 17-day spaceflight (SF; Life and Microgravity Sciences Spacelab Shuttle Transport System-78 mission) and eight men during a 17-day bed rest (BR). The protocols and timelines of these(More)