a1 Muscle Biology Laboratory, School of Kinesiology (m/c 194), University of Illinois, Chicago, 901 W Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60608, USA
Repeated bouts of resistance exercise produce an increase in skeletal muscle mass. The accumulation of protein associated with the growth process results from a net increase in protein synthesis relative to breakdown. While the effect of resistance exercise on muscle mass has long been recognized, the mechanisms underlying the link between high-resistance contractions and the regulation of protein synthesis and breakdown are, to date, poorly understood. In the present paper skeletal muscle will be viewed as a mechanosensitive cell type and the possible mechanisms through which mechanically-induced signalling events lead to changes in rates of protein synthesis will be examined.