Effect of acute nutritional deprivation on diaphragm structure and function in adolescent rats

M. I. Lewis, G. C. Sieck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The influence of 90 h of acute nutritional deprivation (ND; water ad libitum only) on in vitro contractile and fatigue properties, muscle fiber type proportions, and cross-sectional areas (CSA) of the adolescent rat diaphragm was determined. Diaphragm muscle properties in the ND rats were compared with those in control rats (CTL; food and water ad libitum). Acute ND resulted in a 32% reduction in body mass, whereas the body mass of CTL rats increased by 29%. Acute ND resulted in a significant reduction in the mass of the diaphragm (costal, 36%; crural, 43%), soleus (36%), and medial gastrocnemius (45%) muscles. Isometric twitch characteristics of the diaphragm muscle (contraction and half-relaxation times) were prolonged in the ND animals. Peak twitch and maximum tetanic forces were unaffected by ND. Fatigue resistance of the diaphragm muscle was improved in ND animals. Diaphragm muscle fiber type proportions were similar in ND and CTL groups. The CSA of type I and II diaphragm muscle fibers were reduced by 22 and 40%, respectively, in ND animals compared with CTL. We conclude that, whereas an identical protocol of acute ND had no significant effects on diaphragm muscle structure and function in adult rats, adolescent animals exhibit significantly less nutritional reserve. These differences may be due to curtailment of the rapid anabolic rate in growing animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)974-978
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992


  • cross-sectional area
  • diaphragm muscle contractility
  • diaphragm muscle fatigue
  • growing animals
  • malnutrition
  • muscle fiber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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