Comparative energetics of chicken latissimus dorsi muscles, tonic anterior (ALD) and phasic posterior (PLD), were investigated by measuring initial heat production. Heat components were analyzed in terms of the equation:
E = A + W + αF(Δ¯L) + f(P, t)
As the muscles were stretched by increments, heat produced in isometric twitches and tetani decreased in a linear fashion. Two processes are involved: one tension independent, the activation heat, or A; and the other tension dependent, Wi + αF(Δ¯L) + f(P, t). In twitches, A, per unit tension, is equivalent in the PLD and ALD. Tension-dependent heat, per unit tension, is greater in the PLD due to Wi; but tension-time-related heat, f(P, t), per unit tension, is similar in both muscles. In tetanic contractions, differences in A and f(P, t), per unit tension, are attributed to the greater Vmax in the PLD. The differences in the energetics of isometric contractions in the PLD and ALD, therefore, can be explained by inherent differences in tension development, compliance, and myosin and reticular ATPase activities. Data from isotonic twitches were quantified by means of the equivalent tension technique. Both muscles exhibited an extra heat associated with shortening, αF(Δ¯L). In the PLD, the ratio αF/Pot is greater; it is load independent and ½ the value of a/Po in both muscles. Enthalpy efficiency, We + Wi/E, is comparable in both muscles. A Fenn effect is observed only when isotonic energy liberation is compared to a decreasing isometric energy expenditure base line.