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Acta Anat (Basel). 1994;151(4):245-9.

Effects of pituitary dwarfism in the mouse on fast and slow skeletal muscles.

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Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, London, UK.


The Snell dwarf mouse exhibits impaired growth of the anterior pituitary resulting in reduced levels of growth hormone and thyroid stimulating hormone. Ten dwarf mice and 10 phenotypically normal littermates were killed at 33 days of age. M. biceps brachii (a predominantly fast muscle) and m. soleus (a relatively slow muscle) were removed from each animal and complete frozen transverse sections obtained. Serial sections were reacted for various enzyme activities in order to identify muscle fibre types. There was no difference in the total number of muscle fibres in m. biceps brachii but a small difference in m. soleus between normal and dwarf mice. There were marked differences in the size of all fibre types between normal and dwarf mice with the largest differences in m. soleus. The percentage of slow oxidative fibres was similar (about 32%) in both groups of mice for m. soleus but there was a marked difference for this fibre type in m. biceps brachii being about 1.5% in normal mice and 8.0% in dwarf mice. This may be related to a difference in levels of thyroid hormone. Nuclear density was very significantly greater in dwarf muscles although total nuclear numbers were less than in normal muscles. These differences are most likely due to growth hormone levels. Differences in nuclear content were much greater in m. soleus than in m. biceps brachii.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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