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Recovery Of Slow And Fast Muscles Following Nerve Injury During Early Post‐natal Development In The Rat.

M. Lowrie, S. Krishnan, G. Vrbóva
Published 1982 · Chemistry, Medicine

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1. The sciatic nerve was crushed in 5‐6‐day‐old rats and the recovery of function of slow and fast muscles was studied. The first signs of recovery of function were seen 10‐12 days after the operation. 2. Maximal tetanic tension developed by the reinnervated muscles was recorded and taken as an indication of their recovery. Two months after nerve crush, slow soleus muscles developed only slightly less tension than the control unoperated soleus muscles. The reinnervated fast muscles tibialis anterior (t.a.) and extensor digitorum longus (e.d.l.) developed only about 50% of the tension of the unoperated controls. 3. The fast muscles never recovered, remaining weaker and smaller throughout the animals' life. 4. The number of muscle fibres in the reinnervated fast muscles was substantially reduced and their fibre composition altered in that they contained mainly muscle fibres with high levels of oxidative enzymes. 5. The reinnervated fast muscles became much more fatigue resistant than the unoperated controls. 6. The possibility that these changes are due to motoneurone death was examined. The motoneurones innervating the fast muscles were labelled by retrograde transport of HRP. No significant reduction in the number of motoneurones innervating the operated muscles was found. 7. These results show that nerve injury during early post‐natal life causes permanent changes in fast muscles that are not caused by motoneurone death.

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