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(1/952) Uncoupling of in vivo torque production from EMG in mouse muscles injured by eccentric contractions.

1. The main objective of this study was to determine whether eccentric contraction-induced muscle injury causes impaired plasmalemmal action potential conduction, which could explain the injury-induced excitation-contraction coupling failure. Mice were chronically implanted with stimulating electrodes on the left common peroneal nerve and with electromyographic (EMG) electrodes on the left tibialis anterior (TA) muscle. The left anterior crural muscles of anaesthetized mice were stimulated to perform 150 eccentric (ECC) (n = 12 mice) or 150 concentric (CON) (n = 11 mice) contractions. Isometric torque, EMG root mean square (RMS) and M-wave mean and median frequencies were measured before, immediately after, and at 1, 3, 5 and 14 days after the protocols. In parallel experiments, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) concentration was measured in TA muscles to determine whether the excitation failure elicited a denervation-like response. 2. Immediately after the ECC protocol, torque was reduced by 47-89 %, while RMS was reduced by 9-21 %; the RMS decrement was not different from that observed for the CON protocol, which did not elicit large torque deficits. One day later, both ECC and CON RMS had returned to baseline values and did not change over the next 2 weeks. However, torque production by the ECC group showed a slow recovery over that time and was still depressed by 12-30 % after 2 weeks. M-wave mean and median frequencies were not affected by performance of either protocol. 3. AChR concentration was elevated by 79 and 368 % at 3 and 5 days, respectively, after the ECC protocol; AChR concentration had returned to control levels 2 weeks after the protocol. At the time of peak AChR concentration in the ECC protocol muscles (i.e. 5 days), AChR concentration in CON protocol muscles was not different from the control level. 4. In conclusion, these data demonstrate no major role for impaired plasmalemmal action potential conduction in the excitation-contraction coupling failure induced by eccentric contractions. Additionally, a muscle injured by eccentric contractions shows a response in AChR concentration similar to a transiently denervated muscle.  (+info)

(2/952) Control of fingertip forces in multidigit manipulation.

Previous studies of control of fingertip forces in skilled manipulation have focused on tasks involving two digits, typically the thumb and index finger. Here we examine control of fingertip actions in a multidigit task in which subjects lifted an object using unimanual and bimanual grasps engaging the tips of the thumb and two fingers. The grasps resembled those used when lifting a cylindrical object from above; the two fingers were some 4.25 cm apart and the thumb was approximately 5.54 cm from either finger. The three-dimensional forces and torques applied by each digit and the digit contact positions were measured along with the position and orientation of the object. The vertical forces applied tangential to the grasp surfaces to lift the object were synchronized across the digits, and the contribution by each digit to the total vertical force reflected intrinsic object properties (geometric relationship between the object's center of mass and the grasped surfaces). Subjects often applied small torques tangential to the grasped surfaces even though the object could have been lifted without such torques. The normal forces generated by each digit increased in parallel with the local tangential load (force and torque), providing an adequate safety margin against slips at each digit. In the present task, the orientations of the force vectors applied by the separate digits were not fully constrained and therefore the motor controller had to choose from a number of possible solutions. Our findings suggest that subjects attempt to minimize (or at least reduce) fingertip forces while at the same time ensure that grasp stability is preserved. Subjects also avoid horizontal tangential forces, even at a small cost in total force. Moreover, there were subtle actions exerted by the digits that included changes in the distribution of vertical forces across digits and slight object tilt. It is not clear to what extent the brain explicitly controlled these actions, but they could serve, for instance, to keep tangential torques small and to compensate for variations in digit contact positions. In conclusion, we have shown that when lifting an object with a three-digit grip, the coordination of fingertip forces, in many respects, matches what has been documented previously for two-digit grasping. At the same time, our study reveals novel aspects of force control that emerge only in multidigit manipulative tasks.  (+info)

(3/952) Quantitative examinations of internal representations for arm trajectory planning: minimum commanded torque change model.

Quantitative examinations of internal representations for arm trajectory planning: minimum commanded torque change model. A number of invariant features of multijoint planar reaching movements have been observed in measured hand trajectories. These features include roughly straight hand paths and bell-shaped speed profiles where the trajectory curvatures between transverse and radial movements have been found to be different. For quantitative and statistical investigations, we obtained a large amount of trajectory data within a wide range of the workspace in the horizontal and sagittal planes (400 trajectories for each subject). A pair of movements within the horizontal and sagittal planes was set to be equivalent in the elbow and shoulder flexion/extension. The trajectory curvatures of the corresponding pair in these planes were almost the same. Moreover, these curvatures can be accurately reproduced with a linear regression from the summation of rotations in the elbow and shoulder joints. This means that trajectory curvatures systematically depend on the movement location and direction represented in the intrinsic body coordinates. We then examined the following four candidates as planning spaces and the four corresponding computational models for trajectory planning. The candidates were as follows: the minimum hand jerk model in an extrinsic-kinematic space, the minimum angle jerk model in an intrinsic-kinematic space, the minimum torque change model in an intrinsic-dynamic-mechanical space, and the minimum commanded torque change model in an intrinsic-dynamic-neural space. The minimum commanded torque change model, which is proposed here as a computable version of the minimum motor command change model, reproduced actual trajectories best for curvature, position, velocity, acceleration, and torque. The model's prediction that the longer the duration of the movement the larger the trajectory curvature was also confirmed. Movements passing through via-points in the horizontal plane were also measured, and they converged to those predicted by the minimum commanded torque change model with training. Our results indicated that the brain may plan, and learn to plan, the optimal trajectory in the intrinsic coordinates considering arm and muscle dynamics and using representations for motor commands controlling muscle tensions.  (+info)

(4/952) Function of proline residues of MotA in torque generation by the flagellar motor of Escherichia coli.

Bacterial flagellar motors obtain energy for rotation from the membrane gradient of protons or, in some species, sodium ions. The molecular mechanism of flagellar rotation is not understood. MotA and MotB are integral membrane proteins that function in proton conduction and are believed to form the stator of the motor. Previous mutational studies identified two conserved proline residues in MotA (Pro 173 and Pro 222 in the protein from Escherichia coli) and a conserved aspartic acid residue in MotB (Asp 32) that are important for function. Asp 32 of MotB probably forms part of the proton path through the motor. To learn more about the roles of the conserved proline residues of MotA, we examined motor function in Pro 173 and Pro 222 mutants, making measurements of torque at high load, speed at low and intermediate loads, and solvent-isotope effects (D2O versus H2O). Proton conduction by wild-type and mutant MotA-MotB channels was also assayed, by a growth defect that occurs upon overexpression. Several different mutations of Pro 173 reduced the torque of the motor under high load, and a few prevented motor rotation but still allowed proton flow through the MotA-MotB channels. These and other properties of the mutants suggest that Pro 173 has a pivotal role in coupling proton flow to motor rotation and is positioned in the channel near Asp 32 of MotB. Replacements of Pro 222 abolished function in all assays and were strongly dominant. Certain Pro 222 mutant proteins prevented swimming almost completely when expressed at moderate levels in wild-type cells. This dominance might be caused by rotor-stator jamming, because it was weaker when FliG carried a mutation believed to increase rotor-stator clearance. We propose a mechanism for torque generation, in which specific functions are suggested for the proline residues of MotA and Asp32 of MotB.  (+info)

(5/952) Modulation of stretch reflexes during imposed walking movements of the human ankle.

Our overall objectives were to examine the role of peripheral afferents from the ankle in modulating stretch reflexes during imposed walking movements and to assess the mechanical consequences of this reflex activity. Specifically we sought to define the changes in the electromyographic (EMG) and mechanical responses to a stretch as a function of the phase of the step cycle. We recorded the ankle position of a normal subject walking on a treadmill at 3 km/h and used a hydraulic actuator to impose the same movements on supine subjects generating a constant level of ankle torque. Small pulse displacements, superimposed on the simulated walking movement, evoked stretch reflexes at different phases of the cycle. Three major findings resulted: 1) soleus reflex EMG responses were influenced strongly by imposed walking movements. The response amplitude was substantially smaller than that observed during steady-state conditions and was modulated throughout the step cycle. This modulation was qualitatively similar to that observed during active walking. Because central factors were held constant during the imposed walking experiments, we conclude that peripheral mechanisms were capable of both reducing the amplitude of the reflex EMG and producing its modulation throughout the movement. 2) Pulse disturbances applied from early to midstance of the imposed walking cycle generated large reflex torques, suggesting that the stretch reflex could help to resist unexpected perturbations during this phase of walking. In contrast, pulses applied during late stance and swing phase generated little reflex torque. 3) Reflex EMG and reflex torque were modulated differently throughout the imposed walking cycle. In fact, at the time when the reflex EMG response was largest, the corresponding reflex torque was negligible. Thus movement not only changes the reflex EMG but greatly modifies the mechanical output that results.  (+info)

(6/952) The gamma-subunit rotation and torque generation in F1-ATPase from wild-type or uncoupled mutant Escherichia coli.

The rotation of the gamma-subunit has been included in the binding-change mechanism of ATP synthesis/hydrolysis by the proton ATP synthase (FOF1). The Escherichia coli ATP synthase was engineered for rotation studies such that its ATP hydrolysis and synthesis activity is similar to that of wild type. A fluorescently labeled actin filament connected to the gamma-subunit of the F1 sector rotated on addition of ATP. This progress enabled us to analyze the gammaM23K (the gamma-subunit Met-23 replaced by Lys) mutant, which is defective in energy coupling between catalysis and proton translocation. We found that the F1 sector produced essentially the same frictional torque, regardless of the mutation. These results suggest that the gammaM23K mutant is defective in the transformation of the mechanical work into proton translocation or vice versa.  (+info)

(7/952) An unlearned principle for controlling natural movements.

Recently, Gottlieb and colleagues discovered a linear relation between elbow and shoulder dynamic torque in natural pointing movements in the sagittal plane. The present study investigates if the process of learning to reach involves discovering this linearity principle. We inspected torque data from four infants who were learning to reach and grab a toy in front of them. In a longitudinal study, we collected data both in the period before and after they performed their first successful reaches. Torque profiles at the shoulder and elbow were typically multipeaked and became more and more biphasic toward the end of the first year of life. Torques at the shoulder and elbow were correlated tightly for movements in the prereaching period as well as for reaches later in the year. Furthermore, slopes of a regression of shoulder dynamic torque on elbow dynamic torque were remarkably constant at a value approximately 2.5-3.0. If linear synergy is used by the nervous system to reduce the controlled degrees of freedom, it will act as a strong constraint on the complex of possible coordination patterns for arm movement early in life. Natural reaching movements can capitalize on this constraint because it simplifies the process of learning to reach.  (+info)

(8/952) The influence of maxillary incisor inclination on arch length.

This ex vivo study was designed to investigate Andrews' hypothesis that there is a space implication when incisors are torqued correctly. A working model was constructed to allow acrylic typodont incisors of varying known values of inclination to be substituted into the model. The arch lengths of the various 'set-ups' were measured using a reflex microscope linked to a PC. In order to quantify the space requirement of clinical relevance for adequate incisor torque, the method was repeated by substituting replicas of patients' 'natural' incisors. For both acrylic and natural incisors it was found that, as the inclination of the teeth increased, there was an increase in all arch lengths, this being greater for the natural incisors. This larger increase for the natural incisors was related not only to their increased size, but was also dependent on the morphology of the incisor. Those incisors which were parallel-sided showed the greatest increase in arch length, whereas the incisors that were relatively triangular in shape showed the smallest increase. When the inclination of an 'average' set of 21/12 is increased by 5 degrees, an increase in the arch length of approximately 1 mm may be expected.  (+info)