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Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 444, Issue 5, pp 610–618 | Cite as

Effect of age and cold exposure on morphofunctional characteristics of skeletal muscle in neonatal pigs

  • Patrick Herpin
  • Gaëlle Lossec
  • Isabelle Schmidt
  • Frédérique Cohen-Adad
  • Claude Duchamp
  • Louis Lefaucheur
  • Fernando Goglia
  • Antonia Lanni
Original Article

Abstract.

Muscular changes accompanying and/or promoting the rapid postnatal improvement of the thermogenic efficiency of shivering were investigated in piglets. Animals were obtained at birth or killed after 5 days at thermoneutrality (34–30 °C) or in the cold (24–15 °C), to stimulate intense shivering thermogenesis. Fast-twitch-glycolytic (longissimus lumborum) and slow-twitch-oxidative (rhomboid) muscles were prepared for electron microscopic examination and chemical measurements. Muscle-specific changes in energy stores and metabolism were observed after birth, including the switch from glycogen to lipids and variation of the lactate/pyruvate ratio corresponding to the progressive acquisition of the metabolic type of the mature muscles. There was major age-related and/or cold-induced development of the structures involved in excitation-contraction coupling (triadic profiles, +80% in the cold), oxidative metabolism (number of lipid droplets, +81% with age in the cold; number of mitochondria, +29% with age or cold; surface of mitochondrial inner membranes, +18% with age and +32% in the cold) and contraction potential (myofibril volume, +62% with age). In contrast, neither age nor cold affected capillary volume density and capillary-to-fibre ratio. The observed changes reflect the immaturity and remarkable plasticity of piglet skeletal muscle and are likely to underlie its enhanced capacity for shivering thermogenesis after birth.

Piglet Skeletal muscle Morphometry Cold Shivering thermogenesis 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Herpin
    • 1
  • Gaëlle Lossec
    • 1
  • Isabelle Schmidt
    • 1
  • Frédérique Cohen-Adad
    • 2
  • Claude Duchamp
    • 2
  • Louis Lefaucheur
    • 1
  • Fernando Goglia
    • 3
  • Antonia Lanni
    • 4
  1. 1.Unité Mixte de Recherches sur le Veau et le Porc, INRA 35590 St-Gilles, France
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Physiologie des Régulations Energétiques, Cellulaires et Moléculaires, CNRS, Université Claude Bernard Lyon I, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche ed Ambientali, Facoltà di Scienze, Università degli Studi del Sannio, 82100 Benevento, Italy
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli, 81100 Caserta, Italy

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