The contribution of intracellular triacylglycerol (TG) as a substrate for skeletal muscle during electrical stimulation is equivocal. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of electrical stimulation on the TG content in the isolated intact rat flexor digitorum brevis skeletal muscle preparation by use of two different stimulation protocols. Muscles were electrically stimulated for 1 h either continuously at 1 Hz or intermittently (30 s on, 60 s off) at 5 Hz while incubated in 21 degrees C Krebs bicarbonate buffer (pH 7.4) that contained 11 mM glucose. Control muscles were either frozen immediately after excision or incubated for 1 h. TG content was significantly decreased (P less than 0.05) compared with control concentrations in both stimulated muscle groups, with the greatest reduction (60%) occurring after 5-Hz intermittent stimulation. These data indicate that intramuscular TG is hydrolyzed in response to electrical stimulation in the isolated flexor digitorum brevis muscle preparation. In addition, the type of stimulation (higher frequency intermittent vs. lower frequency continuous) employed influences the amount of intracellular TG hydrolyzed.
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