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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Intermuscular and intramuscular differences in myosin heavy chain composition of the human masticatory muscles.

Among and within the human masticatory muscles a large number of anatomical differences exists indicating that different muscles and muscle portions are specialized for certain functions. In the present study we investigated whether such a specialization is also reflected by intermuscular and intramuscular differences in fibre type composition and fibre cross-sectional area. Fibre type compositions and fibre cross-sectional areas of masticatory muscles were determined in eight cadavers using monoclonal antibodies against myosin heavy chain (MyHC). The temporalis, masseter and pterygoid muscles could be characterized by a relatively large number of fibres containing more than one MyHC isoform (hybrid fibres). In these muscles a large number of fibres expressed MyHC-I, MyHC-fetal and MyHC-cardiac alpha. Furthermore, in these muscles type I fibres had larger cross-sectional areas than type II fibres. In contrast, the mylohyoid, geniohyoid and digastric muscle were characterized by less hybrid fibres, and by less fibres expressing MyHC-I, MyHC-fetal, and MyHC-cardiac alpha, and by more fibres expressing MyHC-IIA; the cross-sectional areas of type I and type II fibres in these muscles did not differ significantly. Compared to the masseter and pterygoid muscles, the temporalis had significantly larger fibres and a notably different fibre type composition. The mylohyoid, geniohyoid, and digastric muscles did not differ significantly in their MyHC composition and fibre cross-sectional areas. Also intramuscular differences in fibre type composition were present, i.e., a regionally higher proportion of MyHC type I fibres was found in the anterior temporalis, the deep masseter, and the anterior medial pterygoid muscle portions; furthermore, significant differences were found between the bellies of the digastric.[1]


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