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J Exp Zool. 1983 Aug;227(2):191-201.

A histochemical and enzymatic study of the muscle fiber types in the water monitor, Varanus salvator.

Abstract

Histochemical analysis of five muscles from the water monitor, Varanus salvator, identified three major classes of fibers based on histochemical activities of the enzymes myosin ATPase (mATPase), succinic dehydrogenase (SDH), and alpha-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase (alpha GPDH). Fast-twitch, glycolytic (FG) fibers were the most abundant fiber type and exhibited the following reaction product intensities: mATPase, dark; SDH, light; alpha GPDH, moderate to dark. Fast-twitch, oxidative, glycolytic (FOG) fibers were characteristically mATPase, dark; SDH, light; alpha GPDH, moderate to dark. The third class of fibers had the following histochemical characteristics: mATPase, light; SDH, moderate to dark; alpha GPDH, light. These fibers were considered to be either slow twitch, or tonic, and oxidative (S/O). Pyruvate kinase (PK), alpha GPDH, and citrate synthase (CS) activities were measured in homogenates of the same muscles studied histochemically. There was a positive relationship between both PK and alpha GPDH activities and the percentage of glycolytic fiber types within a muscle. Likewise, CS activities were greater in muscles high in FOG and S/O content. Based on CS activities, Varanus S/O fibers were eight-fold more oxidative than FG fibers within the same muscle. PK/CS ratios suggested that FG fibers possess high anaerobic capacity, similar to the iguanid lizard Dipsosaurus. The fiber type composition of the gastrocnemius muscle, relative to that of other lizard species, suggests that varanid lizards may possess a greater proportion of FOG and S/O fibers than other lizards.

PMID:
6225835
DOI:
10.1002/jez.1402270204
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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