Length-dependent activation and auto-oscillation in skeletal myofibrils at partial activation by Ca2+

Yuta Shimamoto, Madoka Suzuki, Shin'ichi Ishiwata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The length-dependent activation of skeletal myofibrils was examined at the single-sarcomere level with phase-contrast microscopy at sarcomere length (SL) >2.2 μm. At the maximal activation by Ca2+ (pCa 4.5) the active force linearly decreased with increasing SL, while at partial activation by Ca2+ (pCa 6.1-6.5) the larger active force was generated at longer SL. Throughout these experiments, the distribution of SL was kept homogeneous upon activation. In addition, we found that the spontaneous oscillation of force and SL frequently occurs in the SL range 2.2-2.6 μm at pCa 6.1-6.2. Either changes in [Ca2+] or osmotic compression of the myofilament lattice induced by the addition of dextran T-500, affected both the length dependence of activation and the occurrence of auto-oscillation. These results suggest that the force-generating properties of sarcomeres in striated muscle are determined not only by [Ca2+], but also by the lattice spacing as a function of SL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-238
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Feb 1


  • Dextran
  • Force-length relationship
  • Lattice spacing
  • Muscle contraction
  • Spontaneous oscillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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