Analysis of force parameters used to assess the fatigability of mammalian motor units.
AuthorGordon, Debra Anne.
AdvisorStuart, Douglas G.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe investigation of motor-unit fatigability in reduced-animal models has been dominated by a single fatigue test, one fatigue index, and an emphasis on changes in the magnitude of (usually peak) force. Although the standard fatigue test has been reported to elicit changes in the dynamic phases of an isometric tetanus, this has not been systematically studied in single motor units. Furthermore, changes in the profile of individual tetani during the fatigue test have led some investigators to suggest that other force parameters (i.e., integrated force) or fatigue indices may provide additional information about motor-unit performance during the test. The purposes of this project were to: (1) evaluate the time courses of a variety of force parameters characterizing both the magnitude of force and the dynamic aspects of force during a 4-min fatigue test of functionally isolated cat, tibialis posterior motor units; and (2) determine if motor units could be classified into the conventional motor-unit types based on these new parameters. There was considerable variability in the average time course of the magnitude of force during the fatigue test. The variability within the type FR and F(int) motor-unit groups resulted in several units whose characteristics bordered those which, by definition, separate unit types. The classification of these units depended on the force parameter and fatigue index used to quantify their fatigability. The time course of the magnitude of force also revealed differences in the behavior of potentiating and non-potentiating groups. There were many differences between motor-unit types in terms of dynamic-force parameters before, during and after the fatigue test. Comparison of initial and 2-min values revealed a preferential effect of stimulation on force development in type S and FR units (i.e., increased rate) and on force decay in type F(int) and FF units (i.e., prolonged duration and decreased rate). The time courses of these effects further revealed qualitative differences between different combinations of motor-unit types. Groups of units (or lack thereof) revealed by dynamic-force parameters were compared to conventional motor-unit types by discriminant analysis. The results were not always consistent with conventional types.