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How a Working Horse Works
Lee Ann Swenson, MS, BSc, CEMMT

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Muscle Tissue Intro


Structure & Function
 Muscle Microanatomy & Physiology
 Dynamics of Work
 Specific Muscle Fibers & Energy Substrates
Exercise & Effects on Muscle

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Muscles = Contraction

 ^ Types of Muscle
‡ Ñ
  èSmooth Muscle) ð  
D [I Tract, Blood Vessels, Uterus, etc.
‡ 
  ð  
D Heart
‡ ë  èStriated Muscle) Ñ 
D Movement of Joints, Limbs, etc.
± Explosive power
± Stamina
± Motor Control

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 Large part of body weight èup to 40% including H20)


 Closely associated with the skeletal, nervous, and
circulatory systems
‡ Manipulation impacts a range of tissues & systems
 [enerates heat
 Each muscle is a collection of fibers & associated tissues
 Attached to bone via tendons & connective tissue
‡ Least moveable attachment = origin
‡ Most moveable attachment = insertion

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Microanatomy
& Physiology


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Muscle Fiber = Individual Muscle Cell
 Multinucleated ± composed of fused cells
 Large cells
‡ 10 ± 100 µm diameter
‡ Approx 20 cm in length

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 Specialized to contract
‡ [enerate FORCE and MOVEMENT
 Do not divide
‡ Increased muscle size is due to Increased cell size

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‡ Excitable
‡ Conductive
‡ Contractile

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 Membrane = Sarcolemma
 T-Tubules
‡ Transmit Messages
 Mitochondria
‡ [enerate Energy
‡ Numerous
 Myofibrils
‡ 2 Proteins in long strands
‡ Heart of the contractile function
 Sarcoplasmic Reticulum èEndoplasmic Reticulum)

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Muscle Cell & Associated Structures

As visible with a standard light microscope

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Electron Micrograph

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 Repeating Pattern of Striations


 Thick and Thin Filaments
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 èThin) & 
 èThick)
 Myofilaments arranged in a specific pattern
H-Zone
Z-Line
A-Band

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 2 Principal Muscle Proteins


 Found in Myofibrils
 Arranged in a Ring-like Structure
‡ Usally 6 Actin strands around a Myosin fibril
 Run Parallel & Lengthwise
 Myosin èThick) has protrusions èCrossbridges)
 Actin èThin) is intertwined with thinner topomyosin and
troponin

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1. Nerve Impulse Stimulation
2. CA++ Released into Cytoplasm by Sarcoplasmic
Reticulum
^. CA++ Binds to Troponin, which Rotates
4. Tropomyosin Moves and Actin is Exposed to Myosin
5. Myosin Crossbridge Binds to Actin
6. Crossbridge Drags Along Actin èPower Stroke)

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When all the crossbridges in a sarcomere act together,
the whole sarcomere contracts

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m. Nerve Impulse Ends


8. SR Reabsorbs CA++
9. CA++ Dissociates from Troponin
10. ATP Binds to the Crossbridge
11. Crossbridge Disconnects from Actin
12. Actin Fibers Return to Previous Positions
1^. Sarcomere Relaxes

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 A muscle cell may not go back to immediate complete
relaxation
 Contraction can continue through a series of stimulations
èSummation)
 Summation increases the total force of contraction
 If the stimulus is great enough, many sarcomeres in
many fibers are recruited, and the muscle as a whole
contracts.
 Allows for varying amounts of work
 Muscle failure occurs when the maximum number of
fibers are stressed beyond their limits

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 Each muscle is innervated by only one motor nerve


 One nerve can innervate a number of muscles
 Each nerve controls many fibers èmotor units), the fewer
the fibers the more delicate the movement
 If nerve contact is lost, fibers shrink èatrophy)
 The pattern of nerve activity determines the fiber type

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 Feedback from the tendon and stretch receptors
controls motor nerve activity
 Motor nerve activity is also controlled by higher
centers èbrain)

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1. Electrical depolarization occurs along the stimulated
nerve
2. Nerve end touching the muscle fiber releases a
neurotransmitter èACH)
^. Depolarization of the muscle cell membrane èAction
Potential)
4. T-tubules open in SR and Ca++ is released
5. Increased intracellular Ca++ allows actin and myosin to
interact and the crossbridge cycle starts

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 When electrical activity stops, the calcium is removed


and contraction stops
 Muscle must relax between each contraction by actively
pumping Ca back to SR
 Ion pumps in the cell membrane actively repolarize the
muscle cell membranes
 All processes necessary for relaxation are active ±
require energy

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 Each crossbridge requires ATP
 Each myosin strand has dozens of crossbridges
 Each muscle fiber has hundreds of myosin strands

D Muscle Contraction Requires Significant Energy

Basic Unit of Energy = ATP

ATP ADP & Pi ENER[


èATP + H2O ADP + Pi +H+ + Energy)
ATP= adenosine triphosphate; ADP=adenosine diphosphate;
Pi=Inorganic phosphate
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 Intramuscular Triglycerides & [lycogen
 Extracellular FFAs from Adipose Deposits and [lucose from the
Liver

Total amount of fuel stored in a 1,000 lb horse

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Two Main Pathways For Energy Metabolism

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 Occurs in Mitochondria
 For low energy demands of slow speed exercise
 Primary pathway for endurance exercise
 [allop speeds < 18sec/200m can usually be met by
aerobic metabolism in fit horses

 Training can increase capacity to generate energy


aerobically
‡ Enhanced oxygen delivery to muscle
‡ Increased mitochondrial density
‡ Increased enzyme concentrations

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 Oxidative Phosphorylation
 Fats & CHO oxidized to produce ATP
Fats ± stored in depots around body
CHO ± stored as glycogen in liver & muscle
èglycogen metabolizes to glucose)
Aerobically metabolized approx 2x as fast as fat


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Limitations
 Primarily limited by availability of oxygen in working
muscles
 Upper airway obstructions
 Cardiovascular system impairment
 Hemoglobin concentration

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 High intensity exercise of short duration è2-^ min in


horses)
 At start of fast exercise, O2 delivery does not
immediately reach the level required to support aerobic
metabolism
‡ Approx ^0-45 seconds of exercise is required before maximal
rate of oxygen use is achieved
‡ During this time, anaerobic metabolism supplies energy
 Fast Exercise not totally anaerobic; makes up the deficit
‡ Horse galloping over 1200 m, aerobic metabolism provides
approximately m0% of energy

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 [lycolysis = Degradation of muscle glycogen
to lactate
 Results in increases in lactate, hydrogen ions
and Pi in the cells
 Lactic acid accumulation and fatigue develop
as muscle pH falls
D At pH < 6.4 glycolysis and contraction are
inhibited

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 High Oxidative Capacity
 Store Triglycerides & [lycogen
 Standing and posture: Slow contracting fibers that are well supplied
with oxygen ± example stay apparatus
 Type I aka ³Slow Twitch´ Fibers ³Red Fibers´

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 Low Aerobic Capacity
 Store [lycogen
 Athletic Movements: Muscles that generate rapid movement contain
fast fibers and can work for short periods without oxygen
 Type II aka ³White´ Fibers, ³Fast Twitch´ Fibers

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 Primarily Type I Fibers
‡ primarily aerobic energy, primary substrate is fat



   
 Type IIA Fibers Recruited
 Primarily aerobic energy, substrate is both fat and glycogen



 - 
 Type IIB Fibers Recruited
 Energy no longer purely aerobic,

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 Concentric Exercise
‡ Isometric ± constant length
‡ Isotonic ± constant force
‡ Or a mixture of the two

 Eccentric Exercise
‡ Lengthening contractions

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 Lack of exercise leads to fiber atrophy


 [entle exercise maintains muscle mass & flexibility
 Moderate long term activity increases fatigue resistance
 High load exercise leads to muscle fiber hypertrophy

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 Prolonged and/or strong contraction ù Fatigue


‡ Inability of contractile and metabolic processes to
continue supplying the same work output
 Nerve sends electric stimulation, NMJ transmits, action
potentials spread over muscle fibers
D However contraction becomes progressively weaker due
to reduced ATP in the muscle fibers
D Interruption of blood flow through a contracting muscle
leads to almost complete fatigue in less than a minute
due to loss of nutrient supply

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Endurance Horses
 Most often due to glycogen depletion, as most work is
performed aerobically

Race Horses
 Most often due to lactic acid accumulation

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 By product of anaerobic glycolysis


 A potential cause of late onset muscle soreness 24 ± 48
hours after intense exercise
 Sent from muscle to blood and removed via liver
 Removal requires oxygen and is hastened by light work
during recovery

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 Results anytime a muscle is not used or used only for


weak contractions
 Denervated muscle begins immediate atrophy
‡ Example: Sweeney
D Injury to Suprascapular N causing atrophy in supraspinatus &
infraspinatus

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 Diameter of individual muscle fibers increase


 Sarcoplasm increases
 Fibers gain in nutrient and intermediary metabolic
substances èATP, creatine phosphate, glycogen,
intracellular lipids, additional mitochondria)
 Myofibrils may also increase in size
D Hypertrophy increases both power of the muscle and the
nutrient mechanisms to maintain that power


 


 Muscle Microanatomy & Physiology


 Dynamics of Work
 Specific Muscle Fibers & Energy
Substrates
Together IMPACT ù Exercise &
Its Effects on Muscle

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