Aneeqa Rashid, Umar Ali Khan, Muhammad Ayub


Background: On exposure to prolonged cold temperature, the body responds for effective heat
production both by shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis. Cold exposure increases the production
of reactive oxygen species which influence the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca++ release from the skeletal
muscles and affect their contractile properties. The role of ascorbic acid supplementation on force of
contraction during fatigue of cold exposed skeletal muscles was evaluated in this study. Method:
Ninety healthy, male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups of control (I), cold
exposed (II), and cold exposed with ascorbic acid 500 mg/L supplementation mixed in drinking water
(III). Group II and III were given cold exposure by keeping their cages in ice-filled tubs for 1 hr/day for
one month. After one month, the extensor digitorum longus muscle was dissected out and force of
contraction during fatigue in the skeletal muscle fibres was analysed on a computerised data acquisition
system. Results: The cold exposed group showed a significant delay in the force of contraction during
fatigue of skeletal muscle fibres compared to control group. Group III showed easy fatigability and a
better force of contraction than the cold exposed group. Conclusions: Ascorbic acid increases the force
of contraction and decreases resistance to fatigue in the muscles exposed to chronic cold.
Keywords: Ascorbic acid, cold stress, fatigue, skeletal muscles

Full Text:



Buffenstein R, Woodley R, Thomadakis C, Daly TJM, Gray DA.

Cold-induced changes in thyroid function in a poikilothermic

mammal, the naked mole-rat. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp

Physiol 2001;280:149–55.

Petrovic V, Buzadzic B, Korac A, Vasilijevic A, Jankovic A,

Micunovic K, et al. Antioxidative defence alterations in skeletal

muscle during prolonged acclimation to cold: role of L-arginine/

NO producing pathway. J Exp Biol 2008;211:114–20.

Silva JE. Thermogenic mechanisms and their hormonal

regulation, Physiol Rev 2006;86:435–64.

Barbara AB, O'Brien J, Meissner G. Characterization of the

sarcoplasmic reticulum proteins in the thermogenic muscles of

fish. J Cell Biol 1994;127:1275–87.

Werner J. Process- and controller-adaptations determine the

physiological effects of cold acclimation. Eur J Appl Physiol


Arruda AP, Ketzer LA, Nigro M, Galina A, Carvalho DP,

deMeis L. Cold tolerance in hypothyroid rabbits: Role of skeletal

muscle mitochondria and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca+2 ATPase

isoform 1 heat production. Endocrinology 2008;149:6262–71.

de Meis L, Arruda AP, Carvalho DP. Role of sarco/endoplasmic

reticulum (Ca2+) ATPase in thermogenesis. Biosci Rep


Aydin J, Shabalina IG, Place N, Reiken S, Zhang SJ, Bellinger

AM, et al. Nonshivering thermogenesis protects against defective

calcium handling in muscle. FASEB J 2008;22:3919–24.

Ivanova E. Mechanisms of the extracellular antioxidant defend.

Exp Pathol Parasitol 2000;4:49–59.

Lee JA, Westerblad H, Allen DG. Changes in tetanic and resting

[Ca2+]i during fatigue and recovery of single mouse muscle

fibres from Xenopus laevis. J Physiol 1991;433:307–26.

Ibrahim MY, Ashour OM. Changes in nitric oxide and free

radical levels in rat gastrocnemius muscle during contraction and

fatigue. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 2011;38:791–5.

Favero, TG. Sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) release and muscle

fatigue. J Appl Physiol 1999;87:471–83.

Finad J, lac G, Filaire E. Oxidative stress: relationship with

exercise and training. Sports Med 2006;36:327–58.

Ferreira LF, Reid MB. Muscle-derived ROS and thiol regulation

in muscle fatigue. J Appl Physiol 2008;104:853–60.

Surai PF. Natural antioxidants in poultry nutrition: new

developments, at 16th Europeon symposium on poultry

nutrition 2006.

Donpunha W, Kukongviriyapan U, Sompamit K, Pakdeechote P,

Kukongviriyapan V, Pannangpetch P. Protective effect of

ascorbic acid on cadmium-induced hypertension and vascular

dysfunction in mice. Biometals 2011;24:105–15.

Kearns SR, Daly AF, Sheehan K, Murray P, Kelly C, Hayes BD.

Oral vitamin C reduces the injury to skeletal muscle caused by

compartment syndrome. J Bone Joint Surg 2004;86:906–11.

Iqbal K, Khan A, Khattak MMAK. Biological significance of

ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in human health –A Review. Pak J Nutr


Nomura T, Kawano F, Kang MS, Lee JH, Han EY, Kim CK, et

al. Effects of long term cold exposure on contractile properties in

slow- and fast-twitch muscles of rats. Jap J Physiol 2002;52:85–

Hsu PC, Liu MY, Hsu CC, Chen LY, Guo YL. Effect of vitamin

E and/or C on reactive oxygen species-related lead toxicity in the

rat sperm. Toxicology 1998:128;169–79.

Shindoh CA, Dimarco A, Manubay P, Supinski JS. Effect of Nacetylcysteine on diaphragm fatigue. J Appl Physiol


Clanton TL, Zuo L, Klawitter P. Oxidants and skeletal muscle

function: physiologic and pathophysiologic implications. Proc

Soc Exp Biol Med 1999;222:253–62.

van der Heijden EP, Kroese AB, Werker PM, de With MC, de

Smet M, Kon M, et al. Improving the preservation of isolated rat

skeletal muscles stored for 16 hours at 4 degree C.

Transplantation 2000;69:1310–22.

Brutonn JD, Place N, Yamada T, Silva JP, Andrade FH,

Dahlstedt AJ, et al. Reactive oxygen species and fatigue- induced

prolonged low-frequency force depression in skeletal muscle

fibres of rats, mice and SOD2 over-expressing mice. J Physiol


McKenna MJ, Medved I, Goodman CA, Brown MJ, Bjorksten

AR, Murphy KT, et al. N-acetylcysteine attenuates the decline in

muscle Na+K+ pump activity and delays fatigue during prolonged

exercise in humans. J Physiol 2006;576:279–88.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Contact Number: +92-992-382571

email: [jamc] [@] [ayubmed.edu.pk]