Impact of endurance concentric contraction training on acute force deficit following in vitro lengthening contractions
Limited data exist concerning the effects of exercise training on cellular oxidative capacity in the diaphragm of senescent animals. In this study we examined the changes in cellular oxidative capacity, muscle cell cross-sectional area (CSA), and capillarity within the costal diaphragm of senescent animals after a 10-wk endurance-training program. Twelve 24-mo-old female Fischer 344 rats were divided into either a sedentary control group (n = 6) or exercise training group (n = 6). The trained animals exercised on a motor-driven treadmill (60 min/day, 5 days/wk) at a work rate equal to approximately 55-65% VO2max. Capillaries were identified histologically and fiber types determined using adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) histochemistry. Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity and CSA in individual fibers were measured using a computerized image analysis system. Exercise training did not increase (P > 0.05) the capillary-to-fiber ratio for any fiber type. However, training significantly decreased CSA (P < 0.05) and increased capillary density (capillary number/CSA) (P < 0.05) in type I, type IIa, and type IIb fibers. Furthermore, exercise training resulted in small but significant increase in SDH activity (P < 0.05) in type I and IIa fibers, whereas training did not alter SDH activity (P > 0.05) in type IIb fibers. These data demonstrate that endurance training in senescent animals results in small relative improvements in both oxidative capacity and capillary density in costal diaphragmatic type I and IIa muscle fibers. The increase in both capillary density and fiber SDH activity was largely due to a reduction in fiber CSA.