Cellular adaptation of the trapezius muscle in strength-trained athletes
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The aim of this study was to elucidate the cellular events that occur in the trapezius muscle following several years of strength training. In muscle biopsies from ten elite power lifters (PL) and six control subjects (C), several parameters were studied: cross-sectional area of muscle fibres, myosin heavy chain composition (MHC) and capillary supply [capillaries around fibres (CAF) and CAF/fibre area]. A method was also developed for counting the number of myonuclei and satellite cell nuclei. The proportion of fibres expressing MHC IIA, the cross-sectional area of each fibre type and the number of myonuclei, satellite cells and fibres expressing markers for early myogenesis were significantly higher in PL than in C (P<0.05). A significant correlation between the myonuclear number and the cross-sectional area was observed. Since myonuclei in mature muscle fibres are not able to divide, we suggest that the incorporation of satellite cell nuclei into muscle fibres resulted in the maintenance of a constant nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio. The presence of small diameter fibres expressing markers for early myogenesis indicates the formation of new muscle fibres.
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