Virchows Archiv A

, Volume 345, Issue 2, pp 154–168 | Cite as

Biological significance of the early structural alterations in skeletal muscle fibers infected by Trichinella spiralis

  • Diego Ribas-Mujal
  • Jose Maria Rivera-Pomar


Skeletal muscle fibers of the rat were studied with the electron microscope during the first stages of Trichinella spiralis infection. Severe changes in the fine structure caused by the larvae within the muscle fiber may be summarized as follows: 1) Increase of the sarcoplasmic matrix. 2) Fragmentation and lysis of the myofilaments. 3) Hyperplasia of the RS system. 4) Hyperplasia of the T system tubules which develop peculiar multitubular and multivesicular complexes. 5) Mitochondrial hyperplasia and hypertrophy. 6) Increase in number of the Golgi complexes. 7) Enlargement of and increase in number of the nuclei.

Such changes can be explained as a specific adaptation of the muscle cell structures stimulated by the parasite metabolites. They are not degenerative phenomena or defensive cellular processes (“parenchymatous inflammation”).


Public Health Electron Microscope Skeletal Muscle Muscle Fiber Fine Structure 
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Biologische Bedeutung struktureller Skeletmuskelveränderungen nach Infektion mit Trichinella spiralis


Es wurden Trichinose-befallene Skeletmuskelfasern von Ratten elektronenmikroskopisch untersucht. Die durch die Larven erzeugten schweren Veränderungen in der Faser-Ultrastruktur manifestieren sich in folgenden Befunden:
  1. 1.

    Vermehrung der sarkoplasmatischen Matrix.

  2. 2.

    Zersplitterung und Lyse der Myofilamente.

  3. 3.

    Hyperplasie des RS-Systems.

  4. 4.

    Hyperplasie der T-System-Tubuli mit Bildung von eigenartigen multi-tubulären und multi-vesiculären Komplexen.

  5. 5.

    Hyperplasie und Hypertrophie der Mitochondrien.

  6. 6.

    Vermehrung der Golgi-Komplexe.

  7. 7.

    Vergrößerung und Vermehrung der Kerne.


Diese Veränderungen können als Ausdruck der spezifischen Anpassung der durch parasitäre Abbauprodukte stimulierten Muskelzellstruktur gelten. Sie sind weder Zeichen einer Degeneration noch cellulärer Abwehrvorgänge („Parenchymatöse Entzündung“).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego Ribas-Mujal
    • 1
  • Jose Maria Rivera-Pomar
    • 1
  1. 1.Electron Microscope Research Laboratory, Department of Histology and PathologyUniversity of SevilleSpain

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