The Energetic Cost of Activation of White Muscle Fibres from the Dogfish Scyliophinus Canicula

Fang Lou, N.A. Curtin, R.C. Woledge

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The energetic cost of activation was measured during an isometric tetanus of white muscle fibres from the dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula. The total heat production by the fibres was taken as a measure of the total energetic cost. This energy consists of two parts. One is due to crossbridge interaction which produces isometric force, and this part varies linearly with the degree of filament overlap in the fibres. The other part of the energy is that associated with activation of the crossbridges by Ca2+, mainly with uptake of Ca2+ into the sarcoplasmic reticulum by the ATP-driven Ca2+ pump. Total heat production was measured at various degrees of filament overlap beyond the optimum for force development. Extrapolation of heat versus force production data to evaluate the heat remaining at zero force gave a value of 34±5 % (mean ± S.E.M., N=24) for activation heat as a percentage of total heat production in a 2.0 s isometric tetanus. Values for 0.4 and 1.0 s of stimulation were similar. Comparison with values in the literature shows that the energetic cost of activation in dogfish muscle is very similar to that of frog skeletal muscle and it cannot explain the lower maximum efficiency of dogfish muscle compared with frog muscle. The proportion of energy for activation (Ca2+ turnover) is similar to that expected from a simple model in which Ca2+ turnover was varied to minimize the total energy cost for a contraction plus relaxation cycle.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Activation heat
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Dogfish
  • Efficiency


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