May 5, 2020 /

New publication online: Incorporating Phosphate Kinetics Into a Hill-Type Model

A recently accepted manuscript to incorporating exhaustion features into a Hill-type muscle model is now published: Exhaustion of Skeletal Muscle Fibers Within Seconds: Incorporating Phosphate Kinetics Into a Hill-Type Model. Robert Rockenfeller, Michael Günther, Norman Stutzig, Daniel Haeufle, Tobias Siebert, Syn Schmitt, Kay Leichsenring, Markus Böl and Thomas Götz (DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.00306). This is a joint work of UStutt, UKoblenz and UBraunschweig.

Initiated by neural impulses and subsequent calcium release, skeletal muscle fibers contract (actively generate force) as a result of repetitive power strokes of acto-myosin cross-bridges. The energy required for performing these cross-bridge cycles is provided by the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The reaction products, adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and inorganic phosphate (P i ), are then used—among other reactants, such as creatine phosphate—to refuel the ATP energy storage. However, similar to yeasts that perish at the hands of their own waste, the hydrolysis reaction products diminish the chemical potential of ATP and thus inhibit the muscle’s force generation as their concentration rises. We suggest to use the term “exhaustion” for force reduction (fatigue) that is caused by combined P i and ADP accumulation along with a possible reduction in ATP concentration. On the basis of bio-chemical kinetics, we present a model of muscle fiber exhaustion based on hydrolytic ATP-ADP-P i dynamics, which are assumed to be length- and calcium activity-dependent. Written in terms of differential-algebraic equations, the new sub-model allows to enhance existing Hill-type excitation-contraction models in a straightforward way. Measured time courses of force decay during isometric contractions of rabbit M. gastrocnemius and M. plantaris were employed for model verification, with the finding that our suggested model enhancement proved eminently promising. We discuss implications of our model approach for enhancing muscle models in general, as well as a few aspects regarding the significance of phosphate kinetics as one contributor to muscle fatigue. (Link: https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.00306)

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