Frog sartorius muscles tetanized isometrically were released at a constant velocity from lengths lL to lS (delta l = lL -lS; Ls greater than lO). The tension PS redeveloped after the release was lower than the isometric tension PS at LS, and higher than the isometric tension PL at lL. The tension deficit D is defined as the difference PS-PS. The timing of the release during the tetanus did not influence D. D/PO was proportional to delta l/lO. The proportionality constant k was equal to 1.35 +/- 0.19 (n = 8) when the velocity of release was 2.5 mm/s. When the muscles were released the same delta l, D was found to be an exponential decreasing function of the velocity. The tension deficit was also found in experiments performed in the region lS less than lO. The proportionality constant k was smaller, but the influence of the velocity of the release on D was not modified. When the velocity of the release was changed during the release, D changed accordingly, showing that the effects of delta l and V are multiplicative. These facts suggest a working hypothesis based on the concept that the actin filaments which enter the overlap region during a release are strained by the tetanic stress and therefore unable to make normal cross-bridges.

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