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Intracellular pH, ratios of phosphocreatine (PCr) to ATP and PCr to inorganic phosphate (Pi) as well as isometric tension were measured during 1 Hz sciatic nerve stimulation and during recovery in the calf muscles of mdx (a model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy) and control mice. Tension did not decline significantly in either strain. The ratio of PCr/(PCr + Pi) was significantly reduced in mdx as against control muscle during exercise and recovery, but the ratio of PCr/ATP and the half-time for PCr recovery were similar in both strains. A reduction in the maximal activities of succinate dehydrogenase and succinate-cytochrome c reductase suggests that mitochondrial metabolism may be impaired. The similarity in PCr recovery times suggests that the muscle has adapted, making any impairment of oxidative metabolism negligible in the intact system. The rate of pH recovery is prolonged in mdx muscle and provides strong evidence for a decline in the capacity of dystrophic muscle to extrude proton equivalents. These data are compared with a previous study which used 10 Hz stimulation and also observed a slow pH recovery. The slow pH recovery could be explained by an elevation in intracellular sodium.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc biol sci

Publication Date





201 - 206


Adenosine Triphosphate, Animals, Electric Stimulation, Energy Metabolism, Isometric Contraction, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Mutant Strains, Muscles, Muscular Dystrophy, Animal, Phosphates, Phosphocreatine, Phosphorus, Physical Exertion, Sciatic Nerve