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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3180205, 14 pages
Research Article

The Role of Parvalbumin, Sarcoplasmatic Reticulum Calcium Pump Rate, Rates of Cross-Bridge Dynamics, and Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Current on Peripheral Muscle Fatigue: A Simulation Study

1Institute of Applied Mechanics (CE), University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
2Stuttgart Research Centre for Simulation Technology (SimTech), University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Received 15 April 2016; Revised 18 July 2016; Accepted 21 August 2016

Academic Editor: Thierry Busso

Copyright © 2016 Oliver Röhrle et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A biophysical model of the excitation-contraction pathway, which has previously been validated for slow-twitch and fast-twitch skeletal muscles, is employed to investigate key biophysical processes leading to peripheral muscle fatigue. Special emphasis hereby is on investigating how the model’s original parameter sets can be interpolated such that realistic behaviour with respect to contraction time and fatigue progression can be obtained for a continuous distribution of the model’s parameters across the muscle units, as found for the functional properties of muscles. The parameters are divided into 5 groups describing (i) the sarcoplasmatic reticulum calcium pump rate, (ii) the cross-bridge dynamics rates, (iii) the ryanodine receptor calcium current, (iv) the rates of binding of magnesium and calcium ions to parvalbumin and corresponding dissociations, and (v) the remaining processes. The simulations reveal that the first two parameter groups are sensitive to contraction time but not fatigue, the third parameter group affects both considered properties, and the fourth parameter group is only sensitive to fatigue progression. Hence, within the scope of the underlying model, further experimental studies should investigate parvalbumin dynamics and the ryanodine receptor calcium current to enhance the understanding of peripheral muscle fatigue.