Stretch activation properties of Drosophila and Lethocerus indirect flight muscle suggest similar calcium-dependent mechanisms.
Muscle stretch activation (SA) is critical for optimal cardiac and insect indirect flight muscle (IFM) power generation. The SA mechanism has been investigated for decades with many theories proposed, but none proven. One reason for the slow progress could be that multiple SA mechanisms may have evolved in multiple species or muscle types. Laboratories studying IFM SA in the same or different species have reported differing SA functional properties which would, if true, suggest divergent mechanisms. However, these conflicting results might be due to different experimental methodologies. Thus, we directly compared SA characteristics of IFMs from two SA model systems, Drosophila and Lethocerus, using two different fiber bathing solutions. Compared with Drosophila IFM, Lethocerus IFM isometric tension is 10- or 17-fold higher and SA tension was 5- or 10-fold higher, depending on the bathing solution. However, the rate of SA tension generation was 9-fold faster for Drosophila IFM. The inverse differences between rate and tension in the two species causes maximum power output to be similar, where Drosophila power is optimized in the bathing solution that favors faster muscle kinetics and Lethocerus in the solution that favors greater tension generation. We found that isometric tension and SA tension increased with calcium concentration for both species in both solutions, reaching a maximum plateau around pCa 5.0. Our results favor a similar mechanism for both species, perhaps involving a troponin complex that does not fully calcium activate the thin filament thus leaving room for further tension generation by SA.
Glasheen, BM; Eldred, CC; Sullivan, LC; Zhao, C; Reedy, MK; Edwards, RJ; Swank, DM
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