Does Exercise Influence the Differentiation of Lobster Muscle?

  • C. K. Govind


When use of a vertebrate skeletal muscle is prevented by denervation, it leads to a variety of pathologic changes including a reduction in membrane resting potential, increase in specific membrane resistance, occurrence of fibrillation potentials, spread of acetylcholine sensitivity and of receptors to extrajunctional sites, and atrophy of fibers (reviewed by Gutmann, 1976). Some of these changes may be reduced or even reversed if the denervated muscle is electrically stimulated, thus underscoring the fact that neural activity controls muscle fiber properties. However, since the onset of some pathologic changes in the denervated muscle correlated closely with the length of the distal nerve stump, a non-impulse mediated, neurotrophic factor, whose rate of depletion depends on the length of the distal stump, is also implicated in the regulation of muscle. Denervation therefore illustrates the influence of nerve activity and neurotrophic factors in the determination and maintenance of muscle fiber properties. There are other experimental approaches apart from denervation, which illustrate and amplify activity-related and neurotrophic influences on vertebrate muscle (see reviews by Guth 1968, 1969; Harris, 1974; Gutmann, 1976). These reviews emphasize the interacting nature of activity and neurotrophic influences and the inherent difficulty in separating them in order to study their mechanisms. Since most of this work is with vertebrate and in particular mammalian muscle which is innervated by a large number of neurons, an alternative approach is to examine an invertebrate and in particular a crustacean muscle which is supplied by relatively few (1–6) motoneurons (Wiersma, 1955; Atwood, 1973, 1976; Govind and Atwood, 1981).


Sarcomere Length Active Tension Slow Muscle Slow Fiber Fast Fiber 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. K. Govind
    • 1
  1. 1.Scarborough College and Department of ZoologyUniversity of TorontoWest HillCanada

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