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Unloaded Shortening Velocities Of Rabbit Masseter Muscle Fibres Expressing Skeletal Or Alpha‐cardiac Myosin Heavy Chains.

J. Sciote, J. Kentish
Published 1996 · Chemistry, Medicine

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1. Some rabbit masseter fibres express the alpha‐cardiac myosin heavy chain (MHC). To compare the biochemical and physiological properties of these fibres with other skeletal fibre types, we examined the histochemical and immunohistochemical staining characteristics, maximum velocity of shortening (V(zero)) and MHC isoform content of fibres from rabbit masseter and soleus muscles. 2. The fibre‐type composition of muscle sections was determined with MHC antibodies and myofibrillar ATPase histochemistry. Fibres we designated ‘type alpha‐cardiac’ were different from type I and type II fibres in that they stained positively with the alpha‐cardiac MHC antibody and they maintained. ATPase reactivity after acid and alkali pre‐incubations. Samples of superficial masseter contained a few type I fibres, with the majority of fibres classified as either type IIA or type alpha‐cardiac. Soleus samples contained type I, IIA and IIC fibres. 3. The V(zero) of chemically skinned fibres was determined by the slack‐test method. Each fibre was subsequently characterized as type I, IIA, IIC or alpha‐cardiac from MHC identification using gel electrophoresis (SDS‐PAGE). In masseter fibres the V(zero) values were (in muscle lengths s‐1): type I, 0.54 +/‐ 0.05 (mean +/‐ S.D., n = 3); type IIA, 1.23 +/‐ 0.34 (n = 27); type alpha‐cardiac, 0.78 +/‐ 0.08 (n = 9). In soleus fibres V(zero) values were: type I, 0.55 +/‐ 0.06 (n = 14); type IIA, 0.89 +/‐ 0.04 (n = 8); type IIC, 0.73 (n = 2). 4. We conclude that the rabbit masseter muscle contains an ‘alpha‐cardiac’ fibre type that is distinct from other skeletal fibres. This fibre type expresses only the alpha‐cardiac MHC, has unusual myofibrillar ATPase reactivity and has a V(zero) intermediate between type I and type II fibres.
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