IMP production in and force exerted by rat quadriceps muscle in situ during various types of exercise were examined in relation to age. During continuous isometric exercise with constant stimulation time, the amount of IMP was linearly and inversely related to the age of the animals; a higher IMP concentration was found in intermittent isometric and dynamic exercise. No relationship was found between the total AMP deaminase activity and age. Exercise influenced neither the total activity nor the activity in the soluble fraction. From the results it is concluded that: the IMP concentration is linearly related to the free intracellular ATP4-/ADP3- ratio and the free AMP2- concentration; older animals are better able to maintain a high intramuscular ATP4-/ADP3- ratio and a low AMP2- concentration; IMP is produced in particular under conditions when the muscle has to work under extreme stress. IMP possibly exerts a feed-back control on the contraction system.

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