Effect of neonatal denervation on the distribution of fiber types in a mouse fast-twitch skeletal muscle
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- Redenbach, D.M., Ovalle, W.K. & Bressler, B.H. Histochemistry (1988) 89: 333. doi:10.1007/BF00500634
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This study was designed to assess the changes in fiber-type distribution of the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle of the mouse during the first 21 days of age following neonatal sciatic neurectomy. Denervated and normal muscles were compared at 7, 14, and 21 days of age and the normal EDL was also studied at 1 day of age. Frozen sections of the EDL were treated histochemically to detect NADH-tetrazolium reductase and myosin ATPase reactions. Quantitative assessment included measurements of cross-sectional areas and fiber counting. Denervation resulted in muscle atrophy which was due primarily to a decrease in individual fiber area as opposed to fiber loss. Histochemical maturation of the EDL was severely affected by neonatal denervation during the first three postnatal weeks. By 21 days, two extrafusal fiber types which were both oxidative could be distinguished. One type was highly atrophied and resembled an immature fiber exhibiting myosin ATPase staining at both acid and alkaline preincubation conditions, whereas another type was less atrophied and showed myosin ATPase staining resembling fast-twitch (type HA) fibers. These findings emphasize the importance of an intact nerve supply in determining the phenotypic expression of skeletal muscle, and point to the early postnatal period as a critical stage in fiber type differentiation.