Journal of Muscle Research & Cell Motility

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 100–105

Z-line/I-band and A-band lattices of intact frog sartorius muscle at altered interfilament spacing

  • Thomas C. Irving
  • Barry M. Millman


Muscle contraction has long been known to be affected by the osmolarity of the bathing solution. Part of this effect is caused by changes in interfilament spacing in the A-band. We have investigated the variation in spacing of the square lattice of thin filaments within and near the Z-line (the Z-line/I-band or Z-I lattice) in intact frog sartorius muscle over a wide range of osmolarities and compared it with the corresponding changes in the A-band lattice. Both lattices have a lower limit for compression and an upper limit for swelling. The spacing of the Z-I lattice is nearly proportional to that of the A-band, but shows a 2–3% variation at extreme shrinkage or swelling. In normal intact muscle, the osmotically-inactive volume of both lattices is between 20 and 30%. Thesein vivo measurements of lattice spacing differ significantly from those observed in electron micrographs. With moderate variations in osmolarity, lattice spacing and muscle fibre width show similar behaviour, but at extreme osmolarities, the lattice spacing changes less than the fibre width. An equatorial reflection was observed in intact muscle, previously identified in skinned muscle, which does not index on the A-band and which changes with osmolarity in a manner different from that observed for the A-band and Z-I lattices. This reflection may arise from changes in the ordering of the Z-I lattice or may involve components additional to the thick and thin filaments.


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas C. Irving
    • 1
  • Barry M. Millman
    • 1
  1. 1.Biophysics Interdepartmental Group, Department of PhysicsUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.MacCHESS, Department of Biochemistry, Biotechnology BuildingCornell UniversityIthecaUSA

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