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J Biomech. 1992 Aug;25(8):945-8.

Myofilament lengths of cat skeletal muscle: theoretical considerations and functional implications.

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Human Performance Laboratory, Faculty of Physical Education, University of Calgary, AB, Canada.


The cat is the primary model for neuromuscular research. However, sarcomere geometry, in particular thin-myofilament lengths of cat skeletal muscles, is not known, thus preventing adequate muscle modeling on the sarcomere level. The purpose of this study was to determine thin-myofilament lengths in cat skeletal muscle. It was found that average thin-myofilament lengths of cat tibialis anterior muscles (1.12 microns) were larger than the average values reported for frog (approximately 0.95 microns), rat (1.09 microns), and rabbit muscles (1.09 microns) and were smaller than the values reported for monkey (1.16 microns) and human skeletal muscles (1.27 microns). According to the cross-bridge theory of muscular contraction, this result implies that the range of sarcomere length on the ascending limb of the force-length relation for cat muscle is between those of frog, rat, and rabbit on the one side and monkey and human on the other side. It is speculated that the differences in thin-myofilament lengths of different animals are related to the functional demands of these muscles in everyday movement tasks. Isolated experimental observations appear to support this speculation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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