3 years ago

A continuum-mechanical skeletal muscle model including actin-titin interaction predicts stable contractions on the descending limb of the force-length relation

Tobias Siebert, Thomas Heidlauf, Christian Rode, Oliver Röhrle, Thomas Klotz
Contractions on the descending limb of the total (active + passive) muscle force—length relationship (i. e. when muscle stiffness is negative) are expected to lead to vast half-sarcomere—length inhomogeneities. This is however not observed in experiments—vast half-sarcomere—length inhomogeneities can be absent in myofibrils contracting in this range, and initial inhomogeneities can even decrease. Here we show that the absence of half-sarcomere—length inhomogeneities can be predicted when considering interactions of the semi-active protein titin with the actin filaments. Including a model of actin—titin interactions within a multi-scale continuum-mechanical model, we demonstrate that stability, accurate forces and nearly homogeneous half-sarcomere lengths can be obtained on the descending limb of the static total force—length relation. This could be a key to durable functioning of the muscle because large local stretches, that might harm, for example, the transverse-tubule system, are avoided.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005773

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