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Aiping Chi, Liang Tang, Jing Zhang and Kunru Zhang

Purpose:

To investigate the effects of polysaccharide from Gynostemma pentaphyllum on antioxidant activity in skeletal muscle of mice exercised to exhaustion.

Methods:

Three polysaccharide fractions were obtained from G. pentaphyllum polysaccharide (GPP) and termed GPP1-a, GPP2-b, and GPP3-a. Gas chromatography (GC) and infrared spectrum of the polysaccharides were determined. The fractions were orally administrated to mice once daily for 1 wk. The exercise time to exhaustion was assessed using a forced swim test of mice after a week. The glucose, creatine phosphokinase, and lactic dehydrogenase in serum; the activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase; and the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and glycogen in muscle were determined.

Results:

The results of GC demonstrated that GPP1-a, GPP2-b, and GPP3-a were composed of different monosaccharides with distinct molar ratios. Infrared spectrum showed that the main typicals of GPP1-a and GPP2-b were β-configuration and the main typical of GPP3-a was α-configuration. Among the 3 fractions of GPP, GPP1-a administration significantly prolonged exercise time to exhaustion of mice, increased glycogen level and some of antioxidant enzyme activities, and decreased MDA level in muscle.

Conclusions:

The mechanism by which GPP1-a prolonged exercise time to exhaustion in mice may be associated with scavenging reactive oxygen species excessively produced and further increasing glycogen levels in skeletal muscle.

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Liang Tang, Xiaohang Gao, Xiaoying Yang, Didi Zhang, Xiaojun Zhang, Haiping Du, Yanqi Han and Lijun Sun

Weight-bearing exercise is beneficial to bone health. Myostatin (MSTN) deficiency has a positive effect on bone formation. We wondered if a combination of weight-bearing training and polyclonal antibody for MSTN (MsAb) would augment bone formation to a greater degree than single treatment. In this study, rats were randomly assigned to four groups: Control, weight-bearing training (WT), MsAb, and WT+MsAb. The trained rats ran at 15 m/min bearing with 35% of their body weight, 40 min/day (2 min of running followed by 2 min of rest), 6 days/week, for 8 weeks. The rats with MsAb were injected once a week with MsAb for 8 weeks. MicroCT analysis showed that compared with the MsAb group, WT+MsAb significantly enhanced cortical bone mineral density (BMD) (p < .01), bone volume over total volume (BV/TV) (p < .01), trabecular thickness (p < .05), and reduced trabecular separation (Tb.Sp) (p < .01). Compared with the WT group, WT+MsAb significantly increased trabecular BMD (p < .05), BV/TV (p < .05), and decreased Tb.Sp (p < .05). Three-point bending test demonstrated that MsAb failed to improve bone biomechanical properties (p > .05), weight-bearing training significantly increased energy absorption (p < .05) and elastic modulus (p < .05). However, when they combined, biomechanical properties including maximum load (p < .05), stiffness (p < .05), elastic modulus (p < .01) and energy absorption (p < .01) were all significantly enhanced. In conclusion, the combination of weight-bearing training and MsAb have a greater positive effect on bone than treatment with either MsAb or weight-bearing training alone, suggesting that resistance training in combination with MSTN antagonists could be an effective approach for improving bone health and reducing osteoporosis risk.

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Yin-Chou Lin, Angela Thompson, Jung-Tang Kung, Liang-Wei Chieh, Shih-Wei Chou and Jung-Charng Lin

Context:

Elbow injuries are widely reported among baseball players. The elbow is susceptible to injury when elbow-flexor and -extensor forces are imbalanced during pitching or throwing. Assessment of muscle-strength ratios may prove useful for diagnosing elbow injury.

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between the elbow-flexor and -extensor functional isokinetic ratios and elbow injury in baseball players.

Design:

Retrospective study.

Setting:

Biomechanics laboratory.

Participants:

College baseball players with (n = 9) and without (n = 12) self-reported elbow pain or loss of strength were recruited.

Intervention and Main Outcome Measures:

Trials were conducted using a dynamometer to assess dominant-arm flexor and extensor concentric and eccentric strength at angular velocities of 60° and 240°/s. Functional isokinetic ratios were calculated and compared between groups.

Results:

Regression analysis revealed that a ratio of biceps concentric to triceps concentric strength greater than 0.76 (the median value) significantly predicted elbow injury (P = .01, odds ratio of injury = 24). No other ratios or variables (including position played) were predictive of injury status.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that the ratio of biceps concentric to triceps concentric functional strength strongly predicts elbow-injury status in baseball players. Assessment of this ratio may prove useful in a practical setting for training purposes and both injury diagnosis and rehabilitation.