Contractile and endurance properties of geniohyoid and diaphragm muscles

E. Van Lunteren, R. J. Salomone, P. Manubay, G. S. Supinski, T. E. Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Despite the wealth of information about the neural control of pharyngeal dilator muscles, little is known about their intrinsic physiological properties. In the present study the in situ isometric contractility and endurance of a pharyngeal dilator, the geniohyoid muscle, were compared with properties of the diaphragm in 12 anesthetized artificially ventilated cats. The contraction time (means ± SE) of the geniohyoid (27 ± 2 ms) was shorter than that of the diaphragm (36 ± 3 ms; P < 0.0005), as was the half-relaxation time (29 ± 2 vs. 45 ± 4 ms; P < 0.002). The faster contraction and relaxation of the geniohyoid compared with the diaphragm were appropriately reflected in the shape of the force-frequency curves for the two muscles, with that of the geniohyoid located to the right of the diaphragm force-frequency curve. The endurance properties of the two muscles were assessed using repetitive stimulation at 40 Hz in trains lasting 0.33 s, with one train repeated every second. The ratio of force at the end of 2 min of repetitive stimulation to initial force was 0.67 ± 0.06 for the geniohyoid and 0.15 ± 0.03 for the diaphragm (P < 0.00001). After the repetitive stimulation, the muscle force generated in response to a range of stimulus frequencies was reduced to a greater extent for the diaphragm than for the geniohyoid muscle. These results indicate that the geniohyoid muscle has a faster physiological profile than does the diaphragm yet is relatively resistant to fatigue when driven at high rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1992-1997
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990


  • fatigue
  • pharyngeal muscles
  • respiration
  • upper airway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Contractile and endurance properties of geniohyoid and diaphragm muscles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this