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      Does exercise-induced muscle damage play a role in skeletal muscle hypertrophy?

      Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association

      Exercise, Humans, Hypertrophy, etiology, metabolism, physiopathology, Inflammation, Insulin-Like Growth Factor I, Muscle, Skeletal, injuries, pathology, Neutrophils, Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle, physiology, Signal Transduction

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          Abstract

          Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) occurs primarily from the performance of unaccustomed exercise, and its severity is modulated by the type, intensity, and duration of training. Although concentric and isometric actions contribute to EIMD, the greatest damage to muscle tissue is seen with eccentric exercise, where muscles are forcibly lengthened. Damage can be specific to just a few macromolecules of tissue or result in large tears in the sarcolemma, basal lamina, and supportive connective tissue, and inducing injury to contractile elements and the cytoskeleton. Although EIMD can have detrimental short-term effects on markers of performance and pain, it has been hypothesized that the associated skeletal muscle inflammation and increased protein turnover are necessary for long-term hypertrophic adaptations. A theoretical basis for this belief has been proposed, whereby the structural changes associated with EIMD influence gene expression, resulting in a strengthening of the tissue and thus protection of the muscle against further injury. Other researchers, however, have questioned this hypothesis, noting that hypertrophy can occur in the relative absence of muscle damage. Therefore, the purpose of this article will be twofold: (a) to extensively review the literature and attempt to determine what, if any, role EIMD plays in promoting skeletal muscle hypertrophy and (b) to make applicable recommendations for resistance training program design.

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          Inflammatory processes in muscle injury and repair.

          Modified muscle use or injury can produce a stereotypic inflammatory response in which neutrophils rapidly invade, followed by macrophages. This inflammatory response coincides with muscle repair, regeneration, and growth, which involve activation and proliferation of satellite cells, followed by their terminal differentiation. Recent investigations have begun to explore the relationship between inflammatory cell functions and skeletal muscle injury and repair by using genetically modified animal models, antibody depletions of specific inflammatory cell populations, or expression profiling of inflamed muscle after injury. These studies have contributed to a complex picture in which inflammatory cells promote both injury and repair, through the combined actions of free radicals, growth factors, and chemokines. In this review, recent discoveries concerning the interactions between skeletal muscle and inflammatory cells are presented. New findings clearly show a role for neutrophils in promoting muscle damage soon after muscle injury or modified use. No direct evidence is yet available to show that neutrophils play a beneficial role in muscle repair or regeneration. Macrophages have also been shown capable of promoting muscle damage in vivo and in vitro through the release of free radicals, although other findings indicate that they may also play a role in muscle repair and regeneration through growth factors and cytokine-mediated signaling. However, this role for macrophages in muscle regeneration is still not definitive; other cells present in muscle can also produce the potentially regenerative factors, and it remains to be proven whether macrophage-derived factors are essential for muscle repair or regeneration in vivo. New evidence also shows that muscle cells can release positive and negative regulators of inflammatory cell invasion, and thereby play an active role in modulating the inflammatory process. In particular, muscle-derived nitric oxide can inhibit inflammatory cell invasion of healthy muscle and protect muscle from lysis by inflammatory cells in vivo and in vitro. On the other hand, muscle-derived cytokines can signal for inflammatory cell invasion, at least in vitro. The immediate challenge for advancing our current understanding of the relationships between muscle and inflammatory cells during muscle injury and repair is to place what has been learned in vitro into the complex and dynamic in vivo environment.
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            Muscular adaptations in response to three different resistance-training regimens: specificity of repetition maximum training zones.

            Thirty-two untrained men [mean (SD) age 22.5 (5.8) years, height 178.3 (7.2) cm, body mass 77.8 (11.9) kg] participated in an 8-week progressive resistance-training program to investigate the "strength-endurance continuum". Subjects were divided into four groups: a low repetition group (Low Rep, n = 9) performing 3-5 repetitions maximum (RM) for four sets of each exercise with 3 min rest between sets and exercises, an intermediate repetition group (Int Rep, n = 11) performing 9-11 RM for three sets with 2 min rest, a high repetition group (High Rep, n = 7) performing 20-28 RM for two sets with 1 min rest, and a non-exercising control group (Con, n = 5). Three exercises (leg press, squat, and knee extension) were performed 2 days/week for the first 4 weeks and 3 days/week for the final 4 weeks. Maximal strength [one repetition maximum, 1RM), local muscular endurance (maximal number of repetitions performed with 60% of 1RM), and various cardiorespiratory parameters (e.g., maximum oxygen consumption, pulmonary ventilation, maximal aerobic power, time to exhaustion) were assessed at the beginning and end of the study. In addition, pre- and post-training muscle biopsy samples were analyzed for fiber-type composition, cross-sectional area, myosin heavy chain (MHC) content, and capillarization. Maximal strength improved significantly more for the Low Rep group compared to the other training groups, and the maximal number of repetitions at 60% 1RM improved the most for the High Rep group. In addition, maximal aerobic power and time to exhaustion significantly increased at the end of the study for only the High Rep group. All three major fiber types (types I, IIA, and IIB) hypertrophied for the Low Rep and Int Rep groups, whereas no significant increases were demonstrated for either the High Rep or Con groups. However, the percentage of type IIB fibers decreased, with a concomitant increase in IIAB fibers for all three resistance-trained groups. These fiber-type conversions were supported by a significant decrease in MHCIIb accompanied by a significant increase in MHCIIa. No significant changes in fiber-type composition were found in the control samples. Although all three training regimens resulted in similar fiber-type transformations (IIB to IIA), the low to intermediate repetition resistance-training programs induced a greater hypertrophic effect compared to the high repetition regimen. The High Rep group, however, appeared better adapted for submaximal, prolonged contractions, with significant increases after training in aerobic power and time to exhaustion. Thus, low and intermediate RM training appears to induce similar muscular adaptations, at least after short-term training in previously untrained subjects. Overall, however, these data demonstrate that both physical performance and the associated physiological adaptations are linked to the intensity and number of repetitions performed, and thus lend support to the "strength-endurance continuum".
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              Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage in Humans

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                22344059
                10.1519/JSC.0b013e31824f207e

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