Frog sartorius muscles, equilibrated to 2 x 10-4 M iodoacetic acid-Ringer's solution and activated by a series of twitches or a long tetanus, perform a rigor response consisting in general of a contractile change which plateaus and is then automatically reversed. Isotonic rigor shortening obeys a force-velocity relation which, with certain differences in value of the constants, accords with Hill's equation for this relation. Changes in rigidity during either isotonic or isometric rigor response show that the capacity of the rigor muscle to bear a load increases more abruptly than the corresponding onset of the ordinarily recorded response, briefly plateaus, and then decays. A quick release of about 1 mm. applied at any instant of isometric rigor output causes the tension to drop instantaneously to zero and then redevelop, the rate of redevelopment varying as does the intensity of the load-bearing capacity. These results demonstrate that rigor mechanical responses result from interaction of a passive, undamped series elastic component, and a contractile component with active state properties like those of normal contraction. Adenosinetriphosphate is known to break down in association with development of the rigor active state. This is discussed in relation to the apparent absence of ATP splitting in normal activation of the contractile component.

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