The deleterious effects of bed rest on human skeletal muscle fibers are exacerbated by hypercortisolemia and ameliorated by dietary supplementation

R. H. Fitts, J. G. Romatowski, J. R. Peters, D. Paddon-Jones, R. R. Wolfe, A. A. Ferrando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prolonged inactivity associated with bed rest in a clinical setting or spaceflight is frequently associated with hypercortisolemia and inadequate caloric intake. Here, we determined the effect of 28 days of bed rest (BR); bed rest plus hypercortisolemia (BRHC); and bed rest plus essential amino acid (AA) and carbohydrate (CHO) supplement (BRAA) on the size and function of single slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers. Supplementing meals, the BRAA group consumed 16.5 g essential amino acids and 30 g sucrose at 1100, 1600, and 2100 h, and the BRHC subjects received 5 daily doses of 10-15 mg of oral hydrocortisone sodium succinate throughout bed rest. Bed rest induced atrophy and loss of force (mN) and power (μN·FL· s-1) in single fibers was exacerbated by hypercortisolemia where soleus peak force declined by 23% in the type I fiber from a prevalue of 0.78 ± 0.02 to 0.60 ± 0.02 mN post bed rest (compared to a 7% decline with bed rest alone) and 27% in the type II fiber (1.10 ± 0.08 vs. 0.81 ± 0.05 mN). In the BRHC group, peak power dropped by 19, 15, and 11% in the soleus type I, and vastus lateralis (VL) type I and II fibers, respectively. The AA/CHO supplement protected against the bed rest-induced loss of peak force in the type I soleus and peak power in the VL type II fibers. These results provide evidence that an AA/CHO supplement might serve as a successful countermeasure to help preserve muscle function during periods of relative inactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C313-C320
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Volume293
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • Calcium sensitivity
  • Essential amino acids
  • Isotonic contractile properties
  • Peak force and power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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