Fiber number, area, and composition of mouse soleus muscle following enlargement


Muscle fiber number, cross-sectional area, and composition were studied in response to enlargement produced by synergistic ablation in the mouse soleus muscle. The effect of the location of a histological section on the number of fibers that appear in the section was also studied using the mouse soleus muscle. Enlargement was produced in the soleus muscle of 15 male and 15 female mice by ablation of the ipsilateral gastrocnemius muscle. Fiber counts, using the nitric acid digestion method, revealed no difference between control and enlarged muscles in male and female mice. Mean fiber area, determined by planimetry, was 49.1 and 34.5% greater following enlargement in male and female mice, respectively. Increase in muscle weight could be totally accounted for by the increase in fiber area following enlargement. A transformation of type II to type I fibers occurred following enlargement for both sexes. Counts of fibers from histological sections revealed that there was a progressive decrease in the fiber number as the section was moved from the belly to the distal end of the muscle. The results of these studies indicate that muscle enlargement in the mouse soleus muscle is due to hypertrophy of the existing muscle fibers.

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Journal of Applied Physiology