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Extra resources for Advanced cardiovascular exercise physiology

Sample text

The sarcomere is the basic contractile unit of the myocyte. Sarcomeres are composed primarily of overlapping thick and thin filaments, although they also contain additional proteins and connective tissue that constitute the cytoskeleton of the sarcomere and contribute to the mechanical stiffness and elasticity of muscle tissue. A sarcomere extends from one Z disc to the adjacent Z disc. The Z disc that forms the partition of the sarcomere is composed of a-actinin protein. Between the Z discs are the thick and thin filaments.

The binding 37 38 Advanced Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology of calcium to troponin causes the troponin to undergo a configurational change that pulls tropomyosin from the blocking position on the active sites of actin and thereby exposes the active site to permit myosin binding. The removal of calcium from the sarcoplasm is also essential to relaxation of the myocardium. Calcium is removed by SR calcium-ATPase (~75%) and sarcolemma sodium–calcium exchangers (~25%). Factors that limit calcium uptake into the SR or removal from the cell impair myocardial relaxation and can contribute to diastolic dysfunction.

The ions are moved outside the cell through active transport, a form of a metabolic sodium-potassium pump, involving the membrane enzyme Na+, K+-ATPase. As with any pump, energy is required in order for it to work, and the energy is provided by the phosphorylation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The active transport of K+ back into and Na+ out of the cell maintains the resting membrane potential at close to −90 mV. Action Potential Just as with skeletal muscle, for a myocardial muscle fiber to contract, an action potential must be generated.

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Advanced cardiovascular exercise physiology by Denise L. Smith


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