The Histochemical Journal

, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 523–530 | Cite as

The effects of age and exercise on the succinic dehydrogenase content of dystrophic hamster muscle fibres

  • K. F. Howells
  • G. Goldspink


Groups of male dystrophic hamsters of different ages were subjected to a weightlifting and exercise regimen. Frozen sections from the biceps brachii, soleus and extensor digitorum longus muscles were incubated for succinate dehydrogenase activity. The total amount of Nitro BT diformazan deposited in individual muscle fibres was estimated microspectrophotometrically by the two-wavelength method. Similar measurements were made on muscles from dystrophic and normal control animals. Succinate dehydrogenase activity in the muscle fibres decreased throughout the course of the myopathy in the biceps brachii and soleus, the fibres of the extensor digitorum longus remaining relatively unaffected. In the young (9-week) soleus and extensor digitorum longus, exercise caused slight increases in succinate dehydrogenase activity, but in general the exercise stimulus had little effect on the activity of the dehydrogenase.


Muscle Fibre Succinate Similar Measurement Myopathy Freeze Section 
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. Bajusz, E. &Jasmin, G. (1962). Studies on the activity and distribution of oxidative and hydrolytic enzymes in the skeletal and cardiac muscle of dystrophic mice kept on various diets.Rev. canad. Biol. 21, 409–35.Google Scholar
  2. Bell, C. D. &Conen, P. E. (1967). Change in fiber size in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.Neurology 17, 902–13.Google Scholar
  3. Butcher, R. G. (1970). Studies on succinate oxidation. I. The use of intact tissue sections.Expl. Cell Res. 60, 54–60.Google Scholar
  4. Dubowitz, V. &Pearse, A. G. E. (1960). Reciprocal relationship of phosphorylase and oxidative enzymes in skeletal muscle.Nature (London)185, 701–2.Google Scholar
  5. Dubowitz, V. &Pearse, A. G. E. (1961). Enzymatic activity of normal and dystrophic human muscle: A histochemical study.J. Path. Bact. 81, 365–70.Google Scholar
  6. Engel, W. K. &Cunningham, G. G. (1963). Rapid examination of muscle tissue. An improved trichrome method for fresh frozen biopsy sections.Neurology 13, 919–23.Google Scholar
  7. Fenichel, G. M. &Engel, W. K. (1963). Histochemistry of muscle in infantile spinal muscular atrophy.Neurology 13, 742–8.Google Scholar
  8. Fennell, R. A. &West, W. T. (1962). Oxidative and hydrolytic enzymes of homozygous dystrophic and heterozygous muscle of the house mouse.J. Histochem. Cytochem. 3, 374–82.Google Scholar
  9. Glasz-Moerts, M. J., Diegenbach, P. C. &Van Der Stelt, A. (1968). A quantitative study of the relation between the succinic dehydrogenase activity and muscle fibre thickness in muscles of the frogRana temporaria L.Proc. Koninkligke Nederlandse Akademic Van Wetanschappen C. Biol. & Med. Sci. 71, 377–83.Google Scholar
  10. Goldspink, G. (1964). The combined effects of exercise and reduced food intake on skeletal muscle fibres.J. Cell Comp. Physiol. 63, 209–16.Google Scholar
  11. Goldspink, G. (1969). Succinic dehydrogenase content of individual muscle fibres at different ages and stages of growth.Life Sci. 8, 791–808.Google Scholar
  12. Goldspink, G. &Waterson, S. (1971). The effect of growth and inanition on the total amount of nitroblue tetrazolium deposited in individual muscle fibres of fast and slow rat skeletal muscle.Acta Histochem. 40, 16–22.Google Scholar
  13. Goldspink, G., Larson, R. E. &Davies, R. E. (1970). The immediate energy supply and the cost of maintenance of isometric tension for different muscles in the hamster.Z. vergle. Physiologie 66, 389–97.Google Scholar
  14. Howells, K. F. &Goldspink, G. (1974a) The effects of age and exercise on the succinic dehydrogenase content of individual muscle fibres from fast, slow and mixed hamster muscles.Histochemie 38, 195–201.Google Scholar
  15. Howells, K. F. & Goldspink, G. (1974b). The effect of exercise on the progress of myopathy in hamster muscle fibres.J. Anat. in press.Google Scholar
  16. Kowalski, K., Gordon, E. E., Martinez, A. &Adamek, J. (1969). Changes in enzyme activities of various muscle fiber types in rat induced by different exercises.J. Histochem. Cytochem. 17, 601–7.Google Scholar
  17. Meier, H. (1967). Histochemical observations in preclinical mouse muscular dystrophy.Am. J. Path. 50, 691–706.Google Scholar
  18. Patau, K. (1952). Absorption microphotometry of irregular-shaped objects.Chromosoma 5, 341–62.Google Scholar
  19. Stein, J. M. &Padykula, H. A. (1962). Histochemical classification of individual muscle fibres of the rat.Am. J. Anat. 110, 103–15.Google Scholar
  20. Vincellette, J. &Jasmin, G. (1969). On the heterogeneity of skeletal muscle fibres: the intermediate fibres.Experientia 15, 288–90.Google Scholar
  21. Wattenburg, L. W. &Leong, J. L. (1960). Effects of Coenzyme Q10 and menadione on succinic dehydrogenase activity as measured by tetrazolium salt reduction.J. Histochem. Cytochem. 8, 296–303.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. F. Howells
    • 1
  • G. Goldspink
    • 1
  1. 1.The Muscle Research LaboratoryDepartment of Zoology, The UniversityKingston-upon-HullUK

Personalised recommendations