, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 179–189 | Cite as

A histoenzymatic study of rat intrafusal muscle fibres

  • M. A. Khan
  • T. Soukup


The histochemical activities of myofibrillar adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase), succinic dehydrogenase (SDH) and alpha glycerophosphate dehydrogenase (α-GPD) were studied in intrafusal muscle fibres of rat fast and slow muscles. The ATPase reaction was carried out after the three standard acid preincubations. The cold K2-EDTA preincubated ATPase reaction product was similar to that seen following the regular or alkalipreincubated ATPase reaction, except that the intermediate bag fibres exhibited much higher activity after cold K2-EDTA preincubation. Following either acetic acid solution or cold and room temperature K2-EDTA-preincubation, followed by the ATPase reaction, chain fibres of the fast muscles vastus lateralis and extensor digitorum longus exhibited a very low amount of reaction product as compared with those of the slow soleus. Veronal acetate and K2-EDTA preincubations (and equally preincubation in acetic acid solution) resulted in acid stable ATPase activity along the entire length of the typical bag fibres but only in the polar regions of the intermediate bag fibres. On the basis of differing α-GPD reaction, two sub populations of nuclear chain fibres were discovered in one spindle. It is a matter of conjecture, to what extent the histochemical differences of intrafusal fibres from fast and slow muscles reflects functional distinctions in the response to stretch of muscle spindles from fast and slow muscles.


Acetic Acid Solution Glycerophosphate Slow Muscle Adenosine Triphosphatase Intrafusal Fibre 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Askanas, V., Engel, W.K.: Distinct subtypes of type I fibres of human skeletal muscle. Neurology (Minneap.) 25, 879–887 (1975)Google Scholar
  2. Banks, R.W., Harker, D.W., Stacey, M.J.: A study of mammalian intrafusal muscle fibres using a combined histochemical and ultrastructural technique. J. Anat. 123, 783–796 (1977)Google Scholar
  3. Barka, T., Anderson, P.J.: Histochemistry, theory, practice and bibliography, p. 313, New York: Harper Row 1963Google Scholar
  4. Barker, D.: Morphology of muscle receptors. In: Muscle receptors. C.C. Hunt (ed.), Handbook of sensory physiology, Vol. III, Part 2, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer 1974Google Scholar
  5. Barker, D., Harker, D.W., Stacey, M.J., Smith, C.R.: Fusimotor innervation. In: Research concepts in muscle development and the muscle spindle. B.Q. Banker, et al. (eds.), pp. 227–250. Amsterdam: Excerpta Medica 1972.Google Scholar
  6. Boyd, I.A.: The structure and innervation of the nuclear bag muscle fibre system and the nuclear chain muscle fibre system in mammalian muscle spindles. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London Ser. B245, 81–136 (1962)Google Scholar
  7. Brooke, M.H., Kaiser, K.K.: Muscle fibre types. How many and what kind. Arch. Neurol. 23, 369–379 (1970)Google Scholar
  8. Granit, R., Homma, S.: The discharge to maintained stretch of spindles in slow and fast muscles of rabbit. Acta Physiol. Scand. 46, 165–173 (1959)Google Scholar
  9. Guth, L., Samaha, F.J.: Qualitative differences between actomyosin ATPase of slow and fast mammalian muscle. Exp. Neurol. 25, 138–152 (1969).Google Scholar
  10. Guth, L., Samaha, F.J.: Procedure for the histochemical demonstration of actomyosin ATPase. Exp. Neurol. 28, 365–367 (1970)Google Scholar
  11. Guth, L., Samaha, F.J.: Erroneous interpretations which may result from application of the “myofibrillar ATPase” histochemical procedure to developing muscle. Exp. Neurol. 34, 465–475 (1972)Google Scholar
  12. Hess, A.: Vertebrate slow muscle fibres. Physiol. Rev. 50, 40–62 (1970).Google Scholar
  13. Hník, P., Soukup, T., Arutyunyan, R., Ujec, E.: Response to stretch of proprioceptors in adult rat muscles de-efferented at birth. Pflügers Arch. 368, 129–133 (1977)Google Scholar
  14. Karlsen, K.: The location of motor end plates and the distribution and histological structure of muscle spindles in jaw muscles of the rat. Acta Odontol. Scand. 23, 521–547 (1965)Google Scholar
  15. Karpati, G., Eisen, A.A., Carpenter, S.: Subtypes of the histochemical type I muscle fibres. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 23, 89–91 (1975)Google Scholar
  16. Khan, M.A., Kakulas, B.A., Papadimitriou, J.M.: The effect of EDTA on the histochemical myofibrillar ATPase reaction. Acta Histochem. (Jena) Suppl. 16, 281–290 (1976)Google Scholar
  17. Khan, M.A.: Histochemical characteristics of vertebrate striated muscles: A review. Prog. Histochem. Cytochem. 8, 1–48 (1976a)Google Scholar
  18. Khan, M.A.: Histochemical sub-types of three fibre types of avian skeletal muscles. Histochemistry 50, 9–16 (1976b)Google Scholar
  19. Khan, M.A.: On the subsarcolemmal localization of phenazine methosulfate linked alpha glycerophosphate dehydrogenase activity in pigeon pectoralis white muscle fibres. Histochemistry 50, 103–110 (1976c)Google Scholar
  20. Khan, M.A.: The histoenzymology of striated muscle fibres: An overview. Cell. Mol. Biol. 22, 383–393 (1977)Google Scholar
  21. Khan, M.A.: Histoenzymatic characterization of sub-types of type I fibres in fast muscles of rats. Histochemistry 55, 129–133 (1978)Google Scholar
  22. Kučera, J.: Histochemistry of intrafusal muscle fibres outside the spindle capsule. Am. J. Anat. 148, 427–432 (1977)Google Scholar
  23. Lännergren, J., Smith, R.S.: Types of muscle fibres in toad skeletal muscle. Acta Physiol. Scand. 68, 263–374 (1966)Google Scholar
  24. Milburn, A.: The early development of muscle spindles in the rat. J. Cell Sci. 12, 175–195 (1973a)Google Scholar
  25. Milburn, A.: The development of the muscle spindles in the rat. Ph. D. Thesis, Durham 1973bGoogle Scholar
  26. Moline, S.W., Glenner, G.G.: Ultrarapid tissue freezing in liquid nitrogen. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 12, 77–83 (1964)Google Scholar
  27. Nachlas, M.M., Tsou, K.C., De Souza, E., Cheng, C.S., Seligman, A.M.: Cytochemical demonstration of succinic dehydrogenase by the use of a new p-nitrophenyl substituted ditetrazolium. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 5, 420–436 (1957)Google Scholar
  28. Ovalle, W.K., Smith, R.S.: Histochemical identification of three types of intrafusal muscle fibres in the cat and monkey based on the myosin ATPase reaction. Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 50, 195–202 (1972).Google Scholar
  29. Padykula, H.A., Herman, E.: The specifity of the histochemical method for adenosine triphosphate. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 3, 170–195 (1955)Google Scholar
  30. Peter, J.B., Barnard, R., Edgerton, V., Gillespie, C., Stempel, K.: Metabolic profiles of three fiber types of skeletal muscle in guinea pigs and rabbits. Biochemistry 11, 2627–2633 (1972)Google Scholar
  31. Smith, R.S.: Properties of intrafusal muscle fibres. In: Muscular afferents and motor control. Nobel Symposium I. R. Granit (ed.), pp. 69–80. Stockholm: Almquist and Wiksell 1966Google Scholar
  32. Soukup, T.: Intrafusal fibre types in rat limb muscle spindles. Morphological and histochemical characteristics. Histochemistry 47, 43–57 (1976)Google Scholar
  33. Soukup, T., Vydra, J., Černý, M.: Changes in ATPase and SDH reactions of the rat extrafusal and intrafusal muscle fibres after preincubations at different pH. Histochemistry 60, 71–84 (1979)Google Scholar
  34. Syrový, I., Zelená, J.: The onset and progress of transformation of avian slow into fast muscles under neural influence. Pflügers Arch. 360, 121–134 (1975)Google Scholar
  35. Yellin, H.: A histochemical study of muscle spindles and their relationship to extrafusal fibre types in the rat. Am. J. Anat. 125, 31–46 (1969a)Google Scholar
  36. Yellin, H.: Unique intrafusal and extraocular muscle fibres exhibiting dual actomyosin ATPase activity. Exp. Neurol. 25, 153–163 (1969b)Google Scholar
  37. Yellin, H.: Regional differences in the contractile apparatus of intrafusal muscle fibres. Am. J. Anat. 139, 147–152 (1974)Google Scholar
  38. Zelená, J., Soukup, T.: Development of muscle spindles deprived of fusimotor innervation. Z. Zellforsch. 144, 435–452 (1973)Google Scholar
  39. Zelená, J., Soukup, T.: The differentiation of intrafusal fibre types in rat muscle spindles after motor denervation. Cell Tissue Res. 153, 115–136 (1974)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Khan
    • 1
    • 2
  • T. Soukup
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.Institute of PhysiologyCzechoslovak Academy of SciencesPrague 4Czechoslovakia

Personalised recommendations