Isolated intact rabbit muscles were incubated in a medium containing radioactive proline. The rates of synthesis of collagen and total muscle protein after incubation with a constant tension or intermittent mechanical stretching were compared with the rates in vivo. Muscles incubated under a constant tension synthesized protein at 22% of the rate observed in vivo; intermittent mechanical stretching resulted in an increase of 73% in the rate of protein synthesis, to 38% of that found in vivo. Collagen synthesis was affected in the same way as total protein synthesis by both types of incubation, therefore the relative rates of collagen and total protein synthesis were unchanged. ATP concentration in the isolate muscles and the uptake of glucose from the medium were increased by intermittent mechanical stretching. Incubating the muscles with a gas phase containing 5% O2 decreased the rate of protein synthesis, abolished the effect of intermittent mechanical stretching, lowered the concentration of ATP and increased the lactate concentration. The rate of protein synthesis in muscles maintained with a constant or intermittently applied tension was not affected by a previous period of incubation with the other type of stimulus.

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