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Microvasc Res. 2000 Sep;60(2):168-76.

Oxygen diffusion coefficient in isolated chicken red and white skeletal muscle fibers in ontogenesis.

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Laboratory of Microcirculation, Institute of Physiology, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Timakova Street 4, Novosibirsk, 630117, Russia.


Oxygen diffusion from medium to cultured isolated muscle fibers from red gastrocnemius muscle (deep part) (RGM) and white pectoralis muscle (WPM) of embryonic and postnatal chickens (about 6 months) was explored. The intracellular effective O(2) diffusion coefficient (D(i)) in muscle fiber was calculated from a model of a cylindrical fiber with a uniform distribution of an oxygen sink based on these experimentally measured parameters: critical tension of O(2) (PO(2)) on the surface of a fiber, specific rate of O(2) consumption by a weight unit of muscle fibers (;VO(2)), and average diameter of muscle fibers. The results document the rapid hypertrophic growth of RGM fibers when compared to WPM fibers in the second half of the embryonic period and the higher values of;VO(2) and critical PO(2) during the ontogenetic period under study. The oxygen D(i) in RGM fibers of embryos and 1-day chickens was two to three times higher than observed for WPM fibers. For senior chickens, the oxygen D(i) value in RGM and WPM fibers does not differ. The D(i) of O(2) in both RGM and WPM fibers increased from 1.4-2.7 x 10(-8) to 90-95 x 10(-8) cm(2)/s with an ontogenetic increase in fiber diameter from 7. 5 to 67.0 microm. At all stages the oxygen D(i) values in RGM and WPM fibers are significantly lower than the O(2) diffusion coefficient in water: for 11-day embryos they are 889 and 1714 times lower and for adult individuals 25 and 27 times lower, respectively. Why oxygen D(i) values in RGM and WPM fibers are so low and why they are gradually increasing during the course of hypertrophic ontogenetic growth are still unclear.

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