Running during recovery from hindlimb suspension induces transient muscle injury. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objectives were to study morphological adaptations of soleus muscle to decreased loading induced by hindlimb suspension and the effect of run training during the subsequent recovery period. Adult female Wistar rats were kept for 28 days with hindlimbs suspended. For the next 28 days, rats were assigned to a cage-sedentary or daily running group. Compared with control soleus muscles, 28 days of hindlimb suspension reduced the mass and fiber cross-sectional area to 58 and 53% of control values, respectively, and decreased type I fibers from 92 +/- 2 to 81 +/- 2%. During recovery, clusters of damaged fibers were observed in the soleus muscle, and this observation was more pronounced in trained animals. Type IIc fibers appeared transiently during recovery, and their presence was exacerbated with training, as IIc fibers increased to approximately 20% of the total by day 14 of recovery and were no longer evident at day 28. Although muscle wet mass does not differ as a result of mode of recovery at day 14, training transiently decreased the overall fiber area compared with sedentary recovery at this point. By day 28 of recovery the morphological characteristics of soleus muscle in the trained group did not differ from control muscle, whereas in the sedentary group muscle mass and overall fiber cross-sectional area were approximately 14% less than control values.

publication date

  • February 1990