It has been shown previously that direct stimulation of oxidative-phosphorylation complexes in parallel with the stimulation of ATP usage is able to explain the stability of intermediate metabolite (ATP/ADP, phosphocreatine/creatine, NADH/NAD+, protonmotive force) concentrations accompanied by a large increase in oxygen consumption and ATP turnover during transition from rest to intensive exercise in skeletal muscle. It has been also postulated that intensification of parallel activation in the ATP supply–demand system is one of the mechanisms of training-induced adaptation of oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle. In the present paper, it is demonstrated, using the computer model of oxidative phosphorylation in intact skeletal muscle developed previously, that the direct activation of oxidative phosphorylation during muscle contraction can account for the following kinetic properties of oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle encountered in different experimental studies: (i) increase in the respiration rate per mg of mitochondrial protein at a given ADP concentration as a result of muscle training and decrease in this parameter in hypothyroidism; (ii) asymmetry (different half-transition time, t1/2) in phosphocreatine concentration time course between on-transient (rest→work transition) and off-transient (recovery after exercise); (iii) overshoot in phosphocreatine concentration during recovery after exercise; (iv) variability in the kinetic properties of oxidative phosphorylation in different kinds of muscle under different experimental conditions. No other postulated mechanism is able to explain all these phenomena at the same time and therefore the present paper strongly supports the idea of the parallel activation of ATP usage and different oxidative-phosphorylation complexes during muscle contraction.

Abbreviations used: cyt c, cytochrome c; Δp, protonmotive force; PCr, phosphocreatine; t1/2, half-transition time; TCA, tricarboxylic acid.

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