Contractile behavior of the gastrocnemius medialis muscle during running in simulated hypogravity

Journal article


Richter, C., Braunstein, B., Staeudle, B., Attias, J., Suess, A., Weber, T., Mileva, K., Rittweger, J., Green, D.A. and Albracht, K. (2021). Contractile behavior of the gastrocnemius medialis muscle during running in simulated hypogravity. npj Microgravity. 7 (32), pp. 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41526-021-00155-7
AuthorsRichter, C., Braunstein, B., Staeudle, B., Attias, J., Suess, A., Weber, T., Mileva, K., Rittweger, J., Green, D.A. and Albracht, K.
Abstract

Vigorous exercise countermeasures in microgravity can largely attenuate muscular degeneration, albeit the extent of applied loading is key for the extent of muscle wasting. Running on the International Space Station is usually performed with maximum loads of 70% body weight (0.7 g). However, it has not been investigated how the reduced musculoskeletal loading affects muscle and series elastic element dynamics, and thereby force and power generation. Therefore, this study examined the effects of running on the vertical treadmill facility, a ground-based analog, at simulated 0.7 g on gastrocnemius medialis contractile behavior. The results reveal that fascicle−series elastic element behavior differs between simulated hypogravity and 1 g running. Whilst shorter peak series elastic element lengths at simulated 0.7 g appear to be the result of lower muscular and gravitational forces acting on it, increased fascicle lengths and decreased velocities could not be anticipated, but may inform the development of optimized running training in hypogravity. However, whether the alterations in contractile behavior precipitate musculoskeletal degeneration
warrants further study.

Year2021
Journalnpj Microgravity
Journal citation7 (32), pp. 1-8
PublisherNature Research (part of Springer Nature)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41526-021-00155-7
Web address (URL)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41526-021-00155-7
Publication dates
Print09 Aug 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted11 Jun 2021
Deposited10 Sep 2021
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Additional information

This study was supported with funding from the ESA Space Medicine Team (HRE-OM) of the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, and the University of Applied Science Aachen obtained funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (50WB1728). ESA provided the VTF used in this study.
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.

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