The dynamics of rat skeletal muscle energy metabolism in response to ischemia and reperfusion have been investigated by in vivo 31P NMR spectroscopy. The time course of changes in the phosphocreatine, inorganic phosphate, ATP peaks and in intracellular pH during 2 and 4 h of tourniquet ischemia followed by up to 24 h of tissue reperfusion have been determined. Furthermore, the ATP and IMP concentrations in the soleus and tibialis muscles have been determined by high performance liquid chromatography analysis in response to ischemia and subsequent reperfusion. The results demonstrate an initial overshoot in the pH during the first minutes of ischemia. It is also shown that the muscles recover completely after 2 h of ischemia whereas the energy state of the muscle cell is not restored after 4 h of ischemia followed by up to 24 h of reperfusion. However, the soleus muscle recovers better than the tibialis. The results are discussed in terms of oxygen availability, reperfusion injury, IMP accumulation and different response between muscles with different fibre composition.
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