Intramuscular accumulation of prostaglandins during static contraction of the cat triceps surae

J. D. Symons, S. J. Theodossy, J. C. Longhurst, Charles L Stebbins

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46 Scopus citations


We previously demonstrated that muscle afferent endings are sensitized by exogenous prostaglandins during static contraction of skeletal muscle. The purpose of this study was to determine whether 30 s of static hindlimb contraction, induced by electrical stimulation of the cat sciatic nerve, increases the concentration of immunoreactive prostaglandin E2 (iPGE2) and 6-ketoprostaglandin F(1α) (i6-keto-PGF(1α), the stable metabolite of prostaglandin I2) in muscle tissue. In addition, the role of ischemia in augmenting prostanoid production was examined. Gastrocnemius muscle was obtained by freeze-clamping tissue, and prostaglandins were extracted from muscle homogenates and measured by radioimmunoassay. Compared with precontraction values, high-intensity (68% of maximal tension) static contraction elevated gastrocnemius iPGE2 and i6-keto-PGF(1α) by 45 and 53%, respectively (P < 0.01). Likewise, when blood flow to the gastrocnemius was attenuated by arterial occlusion during and 2 min before low-intensity contraction (29% maximal tension), the intramuscular iPGE2 concentration was increased by 71% (P < 0.01). Conversely, low-intensity contraction (30% of maximal tension) and arterial occlusion without contraction did not alter the concentration of either prostanoid. Our findings demonstrate that prostaglandins accumulate in muscle during static contraction. We believe that local muscle ischemia may provide a stimulus for this phenomenon. These prostaglandins therefore are available to sensitize afferent endings responsible for reflex adjustments during static muscle contraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1837-1842
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991


  • 6-ketoprostaglandin F(1α)
  • muscle afferents
  • muscle ischemia
  • prostaglandin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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