Journal of Muscle Research & Cell Motility

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 353–366 | Cite as

Transition in the thin-filament arrangement in rat skeletal muscle

  • Laurel Traeger
  • John M. MackenzieJr
  • Henry F. Epstein
  • Margaret A. Goldstein


The transition in thin-filament arrangement from tetragonal near the Z-band to trigonal in the A-band was investigated by computer-assisted analysis of thin-filament arrangement in serially cross-sectioned rat muscle. Extensor digitorum longus (EDL; fast) muscle from adult rats and adult, 9-day and 3-day neonatal soleus (slow) muscle were serially cross-sectioned from the H-zone of one sarcomere to the H-zone of an adjacent sarcomere. Thin-filament arrangement was analysed throughout the I-band, and particularly at three levels of the sarcomere: in the I-band, one section (0.06 µm) from the Z-band; six sections (0.36 µm) from the Z-band; in the A-band, two sections from the A-I junction (0.72 µm from the Z-band). Data for radial distributions and annular distributions were obtained by computer.

In all muscles studies, thin-filament arrangement exhibited four-neighbour ordering throughout the I-band. Thin-filament arrangement exhibited three-neighbour ordering only in the A-band. The transition in thin-filament arrangement from four-neighour to three-neighbour ordering occurred within 0.12 µm of the A-I junction in muscles fixed at rest length. In adult soleus that had been stretched 20% so that the A-I junction moved away from the N2-line, the transition in thin-filament arrangement occurred in the I-band within a region 0.4–0.5 µm from the Z-band. This region corresponds to the N2-line region of the I-band. Thus, the transition from four-neighbour to three-neighbour ordering occurs in the I-band independent of the thin filament-thick filament interaction. We conclude that some inherent feature of the I-band or thin filament-thin filament interaction imposes a four-neighbour ordering on thin filaments from the Z-band to the N2-line.


Skeletal Muscle Radial Distribution Thin Filament Inherent Feature Filament Interaction 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurel Traeger
    • 1
  • John M. MackenzieJr
    • 2
  • Henry F. Epstein
    • 2
  • Margaret A. Goldstein
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Section of Cardiovascular Sciences, Department of MedicineBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Program in the Neurosciences, Department of NeurologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Cell BiologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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