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Concept: Vastus lateralis muscle


In this study, results are reported from the analyses of vastus lateralis muscle biopsy samples obtained from a subset (n = 90) of 125 previously phenotyped, highly active male and female cyclists aged 55-79 years in regard to age. We then subsequently attempted to uncover associations between the findings in muscle and in vivo physiological functions. Muscle fibre type and composition (ATPase histochemistry), size (morphometry), capillary density (immunohistochemistry) and mitochondrial protein content (Western blot) in relation to age were determined in the biopsy specimens. Aside from an age-related change in capillary density in males (r = -.299; p = .02), no other parameter measured in the muscle samples showed an association with age. However, in males type I fibres and capillarity (p < .05) were significantly associated with training volume, maximal oxygen uptake, oxygen uptake kinetics and ventilatory threshold. In females, the only association observed was between capillarity and training volume (p < .05). In males, both type II fibre proportion and area (p < .05) were associated with peak power during sprint cycling and with maximal rate of torque development during a maximal voluntary isometric contraction. Mitochondrial protein content was not associated with any cardiorespiratory parameter in either males or females (p > .05). We conclude in this highly active cohort, selected to mitigate most of the effects of inactivity, that there is little evidence of age-related changes in the properties of VL muscle across the age range studied. By contrast, some of these muscle characteristics were correlated with in vivo physiological indices.

Concepts: Antibody, Male, Female, Reactive oxygen species, Gender, Sex, Muscular system, Vastus lateralis muscle


Human aging is associated with a decline in skeletal muscle (SkM) function and a reduction in the number and activity of satellite cells (SCs), the resident stem cells. To study the connection between SC aging and muscle impairment, we analyze the whole genome of single SC clones of the leg muscle vastus lateralis from healthy individuals of different ages (21-78 years). We find an accumulation rate of 13 somatic mutations per genome per year, consistent with proliferation of SCs in the healthy adult muscle. SkM-expressed genes are protected from mutations, but aging results in an increase in mutations in exons and promoters, targeting genes involved in SC activity and muscle function. In agreement with SC mutations affecting the whole tissue, we detect a missense mutation in a SC propagating to the muscle. Our results suggest somatic mutagenesis in SCs as a driving force in the age-related decline of SkM function.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Mutation, Point mutation, Missense mutation, Nonsense mutation, Vastus lateralis muscle


The purpose of this project was to further elucidate the effects post-exercise alcohol ingestion. This project had many novel aspects including using a resistance exercise (RE) only exercise design and the inclusion of women. Ten resistance trained men and nine resistance trained women completed two identical acute heavy resistance exercise trials (six sets of Smith machine squats) followed by ingestion of either alcohol or placebo. All participants completed both conditions. Prior to exercise (PRE) and three (+3h) and five (+5h) hours post exercise, muscle tissue samples were obtained from the vastus lateralis by biopsies. Muscle samples were analyzed for phosphorylated mTORC1, S6K1, and 4E-BP1. For men, there was a significant interaction effect for mTORC1 and S6K1 phosphorylation. At +3h, mTORC1 and S6K1 phosphorylation was higher for placebo than for alcohol. For women, there was a significant main effect for time. mTORC1 phosphorylation was higher at +3h than at PRE and at +5h. There were no significant effects found for 4E-BP1 phosphorylation in men or women. The major findings of this study was that although RE elicited similar mTORC1 signaling both in men and in women, alcohol ingestion appeared to only attenuate RE-induced phosphorylation of the mTORC1 signaling pathway in men. The present study provides evidence that alcohol should not be ingested following RE as this ingestion could potentially hamper the desired muscular adaptations to resistance exercise by reducing anabolic signaling, at least in men.

Concepts: Metabolism, Muscle, Physical exercise, Cell signaling, Phosphorylation, Muscular system, Weight training, Vastus lateralis muscle


BACKGROUND: Phosphatidic acid (PA) has been reported to activate the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway and is thought to enhance the anabolic effects of resistance training. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine if oral phosphatidic acid administration can enhance strength, muscle thickness and lean tissue accruement during an 8-week resistance training program. METHODS: Sixteen resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to a group that either consumed 750 mg of PA (n = 7, 23.1 +/- 4.4 y; 176.7 +/- 6.7 cm; 86.5 +/- 21.2 kg) or a placebo (PL, n = 9, 22.5 +/- 2.0 y; 179.8 +/- 5.4 cm; 89.4 +/- 13.6 kg) group. During each testing session subjects were assessed for strength (one repetition maximum [1-RM] bench press and squat) and body composition. Muscle thickness and pennation angle were also measured in the vastus lateralis of the subject’s dominant leg. RESULTS: Subjects ingesting PA demonstrated a 12.7% increase in squat strength and a 2.6% increase in LBM, while subjects consuming PL showed a 9.3% improvement in squat strength and a 0.1% change in LBM. Although parametric analysis was unable to demonstrate significant differences, magnitude based inferences indicated that the Delta change in 1-RM squat showed a likely benefit from PA on increasing lower body strength and a very likely benefit for increasing lean body mass (LBM). CONCLUSIONS: Results of this study suggest that a combination of a daily 750 mg PA ingestion, combined with a 4-day per week resistance training program for 8-weeks appears to have a likely benefit on strength improvement, and a very likely benefit on lean tissue accruement in young, resistance trained individuals.

Concepts: Mass, Phosphatidic acid, Reasoning, Body shape, International System of Units, Vastus lateralis muscle, Mammalian target of rapamycin, Powerlifting


Normal adult aging is associated with impaired muscle contractile function, however to what extent cross-bridge kinetics are altered in aging muscle is not clear. We used a slacken re-stretch maneuver on single muscle fiber segments biopsied from the vastus lateralis of young (~23y), older non-athlete (NA) adults (~80y) and age-matched world class masters athletes (MA; ~80y) to assess the rate of force re-development (ktr) and cross-bridge kinetics. A post-hoc analysis was performed, and only the mechanical properties of ‘slow type’ fibers based on unloaded shortening velocity measurements are reported. The MA and NA were approximately 54% and 43% weaker, respectively, for specific force compared with young. Similarly, when force was normalized to cross sectional area determined via the fiber shape angularity data, both old groups did not differ, and the MA and NA were approximately 43% and 48% weaker, respectively, compared with young (P<0.05). Unloaded shortening velocity (Vo) for both MA and NA old groups were 62% and 46% slower, respectively, compared with young. Both MA and NA adults had ~2 times slower values for ktr compared with young. The slower Vo in both old groups relative to young, coupled with a similarly reduced ktr suggests impaired cross-bridge kinetics are responsible for impaired single fiber contractile properties with aging. These results challenge the widely accepted resilience of slow type fibers to cellular aging.

Concepts: Muscular system, Acceleration, Vastus lateralis muscle, Area


The aim of this study was to analyze the immediate effects of applying Kinesio Taping(®) (KT) on the neuromuscular performance of femoral quadriceps, postural balance and lower limb function in healthy subjects. This is a randomized, blind, controlled, clinical trial, where sixty female volunteers (age: 23.3 ± 2.5 years; BMI: 22.2 ± 2.1 kg/m(2)) were randomly assigned to three groups of 20 subjects each: control (10 min at rest); nonelastic adhesive tape (application over the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis and vastus medialis muscles); and KT (KT application over the same muscles). All individuals were assessed for single and triple hops, postural balance (by baropodometry), peak concentric and eccentric torque and electromyographic activity of vastus lateralis, before and after interventions. No significant differences in electromyographic activity of the VL or concentric and eccentric knee peak torque were recorded, between groups and initial and final assessment in any of the three groups. We also observed no significant alteration in single and triple-hop distance and one-footed static balance between the three groups. Application of KT to RF, VL and VM muscles did not significantly change lower limb function, postural balance, knee extensor peak torque or electromyographic activity of VL muscle in healthy women.

Concepts: Energy, Muscle, Knee, Electromyography, Extension, Vastus lateralis muscle, Rectus femoris, Vastus medialis


This study examined the mechanomyographic (MMGRMS) amplitude-force relationships for 5 (age = 19.20 ± 0.45 years) aerobically trained (AT), 5 (age = 25 ± 4.53 years) resistance-trained (RT) and 5 (age = 21.20 ± 2.17 years) sedentary (SED) individuals. Participants performed an isometric trapezoidal muscle action at 60% maximal voluntary contraction of the leg extensors that included linearly increasing, steady force, and linearly decreasing muscle actions. MMG and skinfold thickness were recorded from the vastus lateralis. b and a terms were calculated from the natural log-transformed MMGRMS-force relationships (linearly increasing and decreasing segments) for each participant. An average of MMGRMS was calculated for the entire steady force segment. The b terms for the RT (0.727 ± 0.334) and SED (0.622 ± 0.281) were significantly greater (P < 0.05) than the AT (0.159 ± 0.223) and were greater during the linearly increasing (0.622 ± 0.426) than decreasing (0.383 ± 0.269) segments when collapsed across segments and training status, respectively. MMGRMS during the steady force segment and skinfold thicknesses were not different among training statuses (P = 0.106, P = 0.142). Motor unit (MU) activation strategies were influenced as a function of exercise training status and muscle action. Future research is needed to fully understand the implications of these changes in MU control strategies as a result of chronic exercise training on exercise and athletic performance.

Concepts: Monotonic function, Function, Convex function, Adipose tissue, Muscle contraction, Vastus lateralis muscle, Segment, Order theory


This study examined the influence of muscle deoxygenation and reoxygenation on repeated-sprint performance via manipulation of O(2) delivery. Fourteen team-sport players performed 10 10-s sprints (30-s recovery) under normoxic (NM: F(I) O(2) 0.21) and acute hypoxic (HY: F(I) O(2) 0.13) conditions in a randomized, single-blind fashion and crossover design. Mechanical work was calculated and arterial O(2) saturation (S(p) O(2) ) was estimated via pulse oximetry for every sprint. Muscle deoxyhemoglobin concentration ([HHb]) was monitored continuously by near-infrared spectroscopy. Differences between NM and HY data were analyzed for practical significance using magnitude-based inferences. HY reduced S(p) O(2) (-10.7 ± 1.9%, with chances to observe a higher/similar/lower value in HY of 0/0/100%) and mechanical work (-8.2 ± 2.1%; 0/0/100%). Muscle deoxygenation increased during sprints in both environments, but was almost certainly higher in HY (12.5 ± 3.1%, 100/0/0%). Between-sprint muscle reoxygenation was likely more attenuated in HY (-11.1 ± 11.9%; 2/7/91%). The impairment in mechanical work in HY was very largely correlated with HY-induced attenuation in muscle reoxygenation (r = 0.78, 90% confidence limits: 0.49; 0.91). Repeated-sprint performance is related, in part, to muscle reoxygenation capacity during recovery periods. These results extend previous findings that muscle O(2) availability is important for prolonged repeated-sprint performance, in particular when the exercise is taken in hypoxia.

Concepts: Energy, Crossover study, Hypoxia, Statistical inference, Vastus lateralis muscle, Work, Pulse oximetry, Pulse oximeter


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of gradient on cycling gross efficiency and pedalling technique. METHODS: Eighteen trained cyclists were tested for efficiency, index of pedal force effectiveness (IFE), distribution of power production during the pedal revolution (dead centre size, DC) and timing and level of muscle activity of eight leg muscles. Cycling was performed on a treadmill at gradients of 0% (level), 4% and 8%, each at three different cadences (60, 75 and 90 rev·min). RESULTS: Efficiency was significantly decreased at a gradient of 8% compared with both 0% and 4% (P < 0.05). The relationship between cadence and efficiency was not changed by gradient (P > 0.05). At a gradient of 8% there was a larger IFE between 45° and 225° and larger DC, compared with 0% and 4% (P < 0.05). The onset of muscle activity for Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Gastrocnemius Lateralis and Gastrocnemius Medialis occurred earlier with increasing gradient (all P < 0.05), whereas none of the muscles showed a change in offset (P > 0.05). Uphill cycling increased the overall muscle activity level (P < 0.05), mainly induced by increased calf muscle activity. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that uphill cycling decreases cycling gross efficiency, and is associated with changes in pedalling technique.

Concepts: Gradient, Vastus lateralis muscle


The quadriceps femoris is traditionally described as a muscle group composed of the rectus femoris and the three vasti. However, clinical experience and investigations of anatomical specimens are not consistent with the textbook description. We have found a second tensor-like muscle between the vastus lateralis (VL) and the vastus intermedius (VI), hereafter named the tensor VI (TVI). The aim of this study was to clarify whether this intervening muscle was a variation of the VL or the VI, or a separate head of the extensor apparatus. Twenty-six cadaveric lower limbs were investigated. The architecture of the quadriceps femoris was examined with special attention to innervation and vascularization patterns. All muscle components were traced from origin to insertion and their affiliations were determined. A TVI was found in all dissections. It was supplied by independent muscular and vascular branches of the femoral nerve and lateral circumflex femoral artery. Further distally, the TVI combined with an aponeurosis merging separately into the quadriceps tendon and inserting on the medial aspect of the patella. Four morphological types of TVI were distinguished: Independent-type (11/26), VI-type (6/26), VL-type (5/26), and Common-type (4/26). This study demonstrated that the quadriceps femoris is architecturally different from previous descriptions: there is an additional muscle belly between the VI and VL, which cannot be clearly assigned to the former or the latter. Distal exposure shows that this muscle belly becomes its own aponeurosis, which continues distally as part of the quadriceps tendon. Clin. Anat., 2015. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Muscle, Knee, Nerve, Thigh, Extension, Tendon, Vastus lateralis muscle, Vastus medialis