Evidence of fibre hyperplasia in human skeletal muscles from healthy young men?

A left-right comparison of the fibre number in whole anterior tibialis muscles
  • M. Sjöström
  • J. Lexell
  • A. Eriksson
  • C. C. Taylor
Article

Summary

Cross-sections (thickness 10 μm) of whole autopsied left and right anterior tibialis muscles of seven young previously healthy right-handed men (mean age 23 years, range 18–32 years) were prepared for light-microscope enzyme histochemistry. Muscle cross-sectional area and total number of fibres, mean fibre size (indirectly determined) and proportion of the different fibre types (type 1 and type 2 on basis of myofibrillar adenosine triphosphatase characteristics), in each muscle cross-section were determined. The analysis showed that the cross-sectional area of the left muscle was significantly larger (P<0.05), and the total number of fibres was significantly higher (P<0.05), than for the corresponding right muscle. There was no significant difference for the mean fibre size or the proportion of the two fibre types. The results imply that long-term asymmetrical low-level daily demands on muscles of the left and the right lower leg in right-handed individuals provide enough stimuli to induce an enlargement of the muscles on the left side, and that this enlargement is due to an increase in the number of muscle fibres (fibre hyperplasia). Calculations based on the data also explain why the underlying process of hyperplasia is difficult, or even impossible, to detect in standard muscle biopsies.

Key words

Muscle Muscle fibres Histocytochemistry Hyperplasia Handedness 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Sjöström
    • 1
  • J. Lexell
    • 2
  • A. Eriksson
    • 3
  • C. C. Taylor
    • 4
  1. 1.Departments of Social Medicine and SurgeryUniversity of UmeåUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of UmeåUmeåSweden
  3. 3.Department of Forensic MedicineUniversity of UmeåUmeåSweden
  4. 4.Department of StatisticsUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowGreat Britain

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