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Histochem Cell Biol. 2000 Dec;114(6):477-81.

Age-related appearance of tubular aggregates in the skeletal muscle of almost all male inbred mice.

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Cytosquelette et Développement, UMR CNRS 7000, Paris, France.


Tubular aggregates (TAs) which have been recently observed in a few mouse myopathies are identical to those described in human diseases. In this study we show that TAs are also found in the skeletal muscle of almost all normal inbred mice strains. In these inbred strains of mice the presence of TAs is shown to be related to both age and sex. Nine different muscles were stained with the modified Gomori trichrome method to reveal the general morphology of the muscles. Anti-SERCA1 ATPase was used to confirm that the TAs were in fact accumulations of sarcoplasmic reticulum and anti-MyHC IIB to demonstrate that these accumulations were found exclusively in the type IIB muscle fibers. An ultrastructural study confirmed the observations revealed by light microscopy that the TAs were derived from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. TAs were never observed in female inbred mice and were only found in type IIB glycolytic muscle fibers of male inbred mice. Therefore when analyzing the effect of genetic knock out and knock in experiments on the muscle phenotype of transgenic mice one should be aware that the presence of these aggregates is a non-specific phenomenon induced by inbreeding.

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