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

Postnatal transitions in myosin heavy chain isoforms of the rabbit superficial masseter and digastric muscle.

We investigated the early (< 8 weeks) and late (> 8 weeks) postnatal development of the fibre type composition and fibre cross-sectional area in the superficial masseter and digastric muscle of male rabbits. It was hypothesized, first, that due to the transition between suckling and chewing, during early postnatal development the increase in the proportion of slow fibre types and in fibre cross-sectional areas would be larger in the masseter than in the digastric; and second, that due to the supposed influence of testosterone during late postnatal development, the proportion of slow fibre types in both muscles would decrease. Fibre types were classified by immunostaining according to their myosin heavy chain (MyHC) content. The proportion of slow fibre types significantly increased in the masseter, from 7% at week 1 to 47% at week 8, and then decreased to 21% at week 20, while in the digastric it increased from 5% in week 1 to 19% at week 8 and remained the same thereafter. The changes in the proportion of fast fibre types were the opposite. The remarkable increase and decrease in the proportion of slow fibre types in the masseter was attributed predominantly to MyHC-cardiac alpha fibres. During early development, the cross-sectional area of all fibres in both muscles increased. However, only the fast fibre types in the masseter continued to grow further after week 8. Before weaning, the fast fibre types in the digastric were larger than those in the masseter, but after week 8, they became larger in the masseter than in the digastric. In adult animals, masseter and digastric had the same percentage of fast fibre types, but these fibres were almost twice as large in masseter as in digastric.[1]

References

  1. Postnatal transitions in myosin heavy chain isoforms of the rabbit superficial masseter and digastric muscle. Korfage, J.A., van Wessel, T., Langenbach, G.E., Ay, F., van Eijden, T.M. J. Anat. (2006) [Pubmed]
 
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