Maturation-related changes in the development and etiology of neuromuscular fatigue

Abstract : Purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of maturation on the etiology of neuromuscular fatigue induced by repeated maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC). Methods: Nine prepubertal boys (9.9 ± 1.3 years), eight male adolescents (13.6 ± 1.3 years) and eleven men (23.4 ± 3.0 years) performed a series of repeated isometric MVICs of the knee extensors until the MVIC torque reached 60% of its initial value. Magnetic stimulations were delivered to the femoral nerve every five MVICs to follow the course of voluntary activation level (VA) and the potentiated twitch torque (Qtwpot). Results: Task failure was reached after 52.9 ± 12.7, 42.6 ± 12.5, and 26.6 ± 6.3 repetitions in boys, adolescents and men, respectively. VA remained unchanged in men whereas it decreased significantly and similarly in boys and adolescents (p < 0.001). In contrast, Qtwpot remained unchanged in boys and decreased significantly less in adolescents than adults (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Children and adolescents experience less peripheral and more central fatigue than adults. However, adolescents experience more peripheral fatigue than children for a comparable amount of central fatigue. This finding supports the idea that the tolerance of the central nervous system to peripheral fatigue could increase during maturation.
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Enzo Piponnier, Vincent Martin, Pierre Bourdier, Brice Biancarelli, Virginie Kluka, et al.. Maturation-related changes in the development and etiology of neuromuscular fatigue. European Journal of Applied Physiology, Springer Verlag, In press, ⟨10.1007/s00421-019-04233-3⟩. ⟨hal-02301647⟩

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