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Anat Histol Embryol. 2003 Apr;32(2):70-9.

The effect of testosterone on gastrocnemius muscle fibres in growing and adult male and female rats: a histochemical, morphometric and ultrastructural study.

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Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Akdeniz University, Arapsuyu, Antalya, Turkey.


In this study, the effect of testosterone on gastrocnemius muscle fibres in growing and adult rats (male and female) was examined using histochemical, morphometric and ultrastructural techniques. After physiological saline (PS), olive oil (OvO) or olive oil + testosterone (OvOT) injections on 72 rats (growing and mature, 36 male and 36 female), the sample tissues of fibre types of the gastrocnemius muscle taken were examined by histochemical [alkaline adenosine triphosphatase (alk-ATPase), acid ATPase (ac-ATPase)], morphometric and ultrastructural techniques. In PS-injected control groups, the gastrocnemius muscle of both sexes contained all the fibre types studied [slow-oxidative muscle fibres (type I), fast-oxidative glycolytic muscle fibres (type IIA) and fast-glycolytic muscle fibres (type IIB)]. The type I fibres had the smallest diameter, type IIA had a medium diameter and type IIB fibres had the largest diameter. In OvO-injected groups, it was observed that the OvO had little effect on the gastrocnemius muscles of either sex, although there was significant enlargement of type IIB fibres. After the injection of OvOT, hypertrophy of muscle fibres was determined by morphometric study. The biggest increase in diameter was on type I fibres. In addition, degenerations on some mitochondria, accumulation of lipid droplets on type I and type II fibres, an increase in glycogen particles, bifurcation of myofibrils, an increase in the number and diameter of units resembling T tubules and an increase in ribosomal content were also observed in the same group by transmission electron microscope. Consequently, it was determined that testosterone can induce protein synthesis in gastrocnemius muscle fibres, and induces changes in shape and size, and also can change the appearance and the number of fibres.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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