, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 28-31

Capillary changes with fenestrations in the contralateral soleus muscle of the rat following unilateral limb immobilization

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Using electron microscopy, we examined structural changes in the capillaries of the immobilized and contralateral soleus muscles in the rat after the unilateral limb had been immobilized for 4 weeks. Individual contralateral muscle fibers showed a normal structure, compared with the structure in the immobilized muscle fibers. Most capillaries in the contralateral muscle were of the continuous type. However, about 5% of the examined capillaries in these muscles in each rat had fenestrations. The non-nuclear portions of the endothelial cells in these capillaries were extremely thin and were perforated by several fenestrations that were bridged by a single-layered diaphragm. The fenestration of capillaries in the contralateral muscle may have been caused by some the unilateral limb immobilization.

Received for publication in Jan. 30, 1998; accepted on Aug. 18, 1998