Abstract Chronic 10 Hz stimulation of rat fast-twitch muscle induced rapid and reversible changes in the tissue levels offast myosin heavy chain (HC) mRNA isoforms. These changes consisted of a rapid decrease in HCIIb mRNA and a progressive increase in HCIIa mRNA. After 15 days, the HCIIb mRNA normally amounting to approximately 80%, had decreased to less than 5% of the sum of the two HC mRNA isoforms. HCIIb mRNA was again detectable one day after cessation of stimulation and progressively increased at the expense of HCIIa mRNA with ongoing recovery. These results point to a down-regulation of the HCIIb gene by the applied stimulus pattern which, conversely, enhances the expression of the HCIIa gene.