Treppe

If the voltage of the electrical shocks delivered to an isolated muscle in vitro is gradually increased from zero, the strength of the muscle twitches will increase accordingly, up to a maximal value at which all of the muscle fibers are stimulated. This demonstrates the graded nature of the muscle contraction. If a series of electrical shocks at this maximal voltage is given to a fresh muscle so that each shock produces a separate twitch, each of the twitches evoked will be successively stronger, up to a higher maximum. This demonstrates treppe, or the staircase effect. Treppe may represent a warmup effect, and is believed to be due to an increase in intracellular Ca2+, which is needed for muscle contraction.

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