Fatigue-induced modulation of human soleus H-reflex in conditions of pair tibial nerve stimulation in untrained and trained people

O. Kolosova
National University of Ukraine on Physical Education and Sport, Kyiv


Monosynaptic reflex indices peculiarities, concerned with adaptative reactions to the long-term physical exercise, might add new data about mechanisms of human nervous system plasticity. The objective of the research was to investigate the influence of fatigue on human soleus H (Hoffmann) reflex in conditions of pair stimulation of tibial nerve with inter stimulus interval 500 m sin tenun trained people (age: M = 25,3, SE = 1,6 years) and ten trained athletes (age: M = 20,5, SE = 0,5 years). H-reflex study was performed using neurodiagnostic complex Nicolet Biomedical Viking Select (Viasys Health care, USA) at rest: before and after long-lasting isometric voluntary contraction of calf muscle, which caused the soleus muscle fatigue; the muscle force was equal to 75 % of maximal voluntary contraction. Test and conditioned responses (by means of stimulation with first and second impulses from pair) were registered. Homosynaptic postactivation depression (HPAD), associated with pair stimulation of tibial nerve, led to 56 % and 51 % inhibition of H-reflex in untrained and trained people at rest, respectively (p < 0,05). After fatiguing voluntary contraction the amplitudes of test and conditioned soleus H-reflex were both reduced approximately in half. Then both H-reflex amplitudes subsequently recovered, more rapidly in trained people. Soleus H-reflex inhibition might be due to the activation of the groups III and IV afferent nerves under the influence of mechanical and metabolic changes in the muscle. It was also found that HPAD H-reflex inhibition intensity increased by 20 % in untrained people and by 15 % in trained ones at 90 s after fatiguing voluntary contraction (p < 0,05). It is assumed that complex influence of fatigue and homosynaptic postactivation depression was more pronounced in untrained people in comparison with trained ones. It can be ascribed to athletes adaptation to the long-term physical exercise.


Нoffmann reflex, fatigue, homosynaptic post activation depression, adaptation to physical exercise

Full Text:



Andriyanova E. Yu., Lanskaya O. V. Motor plasticity mechanisms of spinal cord nervous chains in conditions of longterm adaptation for sport performance. Human Physiology. 2014; 40(3): 73–85.

Zaporozhanov V. А. Control in sport training. Kiev: Zdorovya; 1988. 139 p.

Kolosova O. V. The relationship of fatigue-induced changes of human soleus Hoffmann reflex and level of adaptation to physical exercise.Bulletin оf Cherkasy University. 2016; 1: 59–66.

Kolosova O. V. Fatigue-induced modulation of human soleus Hoffmann reflex under conditions of homosynaptic post activation depression due to pair tibial nerve stimulation. Bulletin оf Taras Schevchenko National University of Kyiv. Series: Biology. 2017; 74(2): 55–9.

Komantsev V. N. Methodical bases of clinical electromyography. Saint Petersburg; 2006. 349 p.

Crone C., Nielsen J. Methodological implications of the post activation depression of the soleus H-reflex in man. Exp Brain Res. 1989; 78: 28–32.

Dercherchi P., Dousset E. Role of metabosensitive afferent fibers in neuromuscular adaptive mechanisms. Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 2003; 30(2): 91–7.

Enoka R. M, Duchateau J. Translating Fatigue to Human Performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 Nov.; 48(11): 2228–2238.

On the mechanism of the post-activation depression of the H-reflex in human subjects / H. Hultborn, M. Illert, J. Nielsen et al. Exp. Brain Res.1996; 108: 450–462.

Laurin J., Dousset E., Decherchi P. Modulation of the Spinal Excitability by Muscle Metabosensitive Afferent Fibers J Neurosci Res. 2010 Sep.;88(12): 2755–2764. doi: 10.1002/jnr.22432.

Magladery Jw., Teasdall Rd., Park Am., Languth Hw. Some mechanisms in man suppressing spinal motoneurone excitability. Trans Am Neurol Assoc. 1952; 56: 100–105.

Racinais S., Cresswell A. G. Temperature affects maximum H-reflex amplitude but not homosynaptic postactivation depression. Physiol Rep. 2013; 1(2): 1–7. doi:10.1002/phy2.19.

Tahayori B., Koceja D. M. Activity-dependent plasticity of spinal circuits in the developing and mature spinal cord.Neural Plast. 2012; 2012: 1–12. doi: 10.1155/2012/964843.

Walton D. M., Kuchinad R. A., Ivanova T. D., Garland S. J. Reflex inhibition during muscle fatigue in endurance-trained and sedentary individuals. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2002; 87: 462-8. doi: 10.1007/s00421-002-



Received: 18.05.2020

Revised: 19.06.2020

Signed for press: 19.06.2020

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17721/1728_2748.2020.81.59-63


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Лицензия Creative Commons
This journal is available according to the Creative Commons License «Attribution» («Атрибуція») 4.0 Global (CC-BY).