Authors:A. Costa, Z. Orosz, P. Apor, N. Csaba, S. Siamilis, Z. Csende, L. Racz and J. Tihanyi
In animal models, unaccustomed eccentric exercise (EE) has been widely related to muscle fiber membrane (sarcolemma) damage. On the contrary, studies in humans reported that sarcolemma was not susceptible to damage following a single bout of EE. We hypothesized that the single bout of EE used by those studies was not sufficient to induce sarcolemma damage, in humans. In this study we examined muscle biopsies from untrained males who either performed six sets of 15 reps of maximum voluntary eccentric contractions (n=9), for six consecutive days, or served as control-group (n=6). Blood and biopsy samples were obtained one week prior to exercise, immediately after bout 3, and 24h after the last training session. In addition to standard haematoxylin-eosin staining, all biopsies were stained immunohistochemically using antibodies specific for fibronectin and desmin antigens. In the exercise-group, no biopsies taken at pre-exercise or post-exercise level showed evidence of sarcolemma damage as stained by anti-fibronectin antibody in eight of nine subjects. Serum creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities increased significantly throughout the study despite the lack of sarcolemma damage.We suggest that in humans, repeated bouts of EE do not cause gross sarcolemma damage in the mid-belly of Vastus Lateralis.