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Res Vet Sci. 1980 Mar;28(2):137-44.

Muscle fibre type composition of a number of limb muscles in different types of horse.


Skeletal muscle of the equine was differentiated into three fibre types according to myosin ATPase (pH 9.4) and succinic dehydrogenase activity. The percentage of these types was determined in the musculus deltoideus, m triceps brachii caput longum, m gluteus medius, m semitendinosis, m biceps femoris and m vastus lateralis of the thoroughbred, Shetland pony, pony, heavy hunter and donkey. In addition the m gluteus medius was examined in the arab and American racing quarterhorse. High myosin ATPase activity fibres varied from a mean of 93.2 per cent in the m gluteus medius of the quarterhorse to 58.2 per cent in the m vastus lateralis of the donkey. In the m gluteus medius it was found that the percentage of high mycosin ATPase (pH 9.4) fibres varied significantly among breeds and these differences were related to the sprinting speed of the breed.

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