Send to

Choose Destination
Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2008 Mar;149(3):490-500. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2007.11.012. Epub 2007 Dec 14.

Altered fibre types in gastrocnemius muscle of high wheel-running selected mice with mini-muscle phenotypes.

Author information

Département de biologie, Université Laval, Québec QC, Canada G1K 7P4.


Selective breeding of mice for high voluntary wheel running has favoured characteristics that facilitate sustained, aerobically supported activity, including a "mini-muscle" phenotype with markedly reduced hind limb muscle mass, increased mass-specific activities of oxidative enzymes, decreased % myosin heavy chain IIb, and, in the medial gastrocnemius, reduced twitch speed, reduced mass-specific isotonic power, and increased fatigue resistance. To evaluate whether selection has altered fibre type expression in mice with either "mini" or normal muscle phenotypes, we examined fibre types of red and white gastrocnemius. In both the medial and lateral gastrocnemius, the mini-phenotype increased activities of oxidative enzymes and decreased activities of glycolytic enzymes. In red muscle samples, the mini-phenotype markedly changed fibre types, with the % type I and type IIA fibres and the surface area of type IIA fibres increasing; in addition, mice from selected lines in general had an increased % type IIA fibres and larger type I fibres as compared with mice from control lines. White muscle samples from mini-mice showed dramatic structural alterations, with an atypical distribution of extremely small, unidentifiable fibres surrounded by larger, more oxidative fibres than normally present in white muscle. The increased proportion of oxidative fibres and these atypical small fibres together may explain the reduced mass and increased mitochondrial enzyme activities in mini-muscles. These and previous results demonstrate that extension of selective breeding beyond the time when the response of the selected trait (i.e. distance run) has levelled off can still modify the mechanistic underpinnings of this behaviour.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center