We investigated the temporal effects of sepsis on muscle wasting and function in order to study the contribution of wasting to the decline in muscle function; we also studied the fiber-type specificity of this muscle wasting. Sepsis was induced by injecting rats intraperitoneally with a zymosan suspension. At 2 h and at 2, 6, and 11 days after injection, muscle function was measured using in situ electrical stimulation. Zymosan injection induced severe muscle wasting compared to pair-fed and ad libitum fed controls. At 6 days, isometric force-generating capacity was drastically reduced in zymosan-treated rats. We conclude that this was fully accounted for by the reduction of muscle mass. At day 6, we also observed increased activity of the 20S proteasome in gastrocnemius but not soleus muscle from septic rats. In tibialis anterior but not in soleus, muscle wasting occurred in a fiber-type specific fashion, i.e., the reduction in cross-sectional area was significantly smaller in type 1 than type 2A and 2B/X fibers. These findings suggest that both the inherent function of a muscle and the muscle fiber-type distribution affect the responsiveness to catabolic signals. Muscle Nerve, 2005.