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A histochemical study of fibre types in rat extraocular muscles

Vita, G.F., Mastaglia, F.L. and Johnson, M.A. (1980) A histochemical study of fibre types in rat extraocular muscles. Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology, 6 (6). pp. 449-463.

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The histochemical fibre type composition of the rat superior and medial rectus (SR and MR), superior oblique (SO) and levator palpebrae superioris (LPS) muscles was studied using the myofibrillar ATPase and NADH-tetrazo-lium reductase (NADH-TR) techniques. In the SR, MR and SO a peripheral zone containing small fibres and a central zone containing both small and large fibres could be identified. Four fibre types were present in the central zone of these muscles and were categorised as Type 1, Type 2a, Type 2a', and Type 2b. Four fibre types were also identified in the peripheral zone–Type 1, Type 2a, Type 2a' and Type 2c. In the LPS Type 1, Type 2, Type 2a', Type 2b and Type 2c fibres were evenly intermixed without a zonal arrangement. The Type 1, Type 2a, Type 2b and Type 2c fibres correspond to accepted fibre types in the rat limb muscles. The Type 2a' and Type 2a' fibres were differentiated from the Type 2a fibres on the basis of size and pattern and intensity of staining with the NADH-TR technique. The Type 2c fibres, which possess both acid-stable and alkali-stable myofibrillar ATPase, are considered to represent intermediate fibres in the process of transformation from Type 2 to Type 1, rather than fibres with a dual innervation as has been suggested in the past. The implications of these histochemical findings are considered in relationship to the physiology of individual motor units and to the function of the extraocular muscles.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: 1980 Blackwell Scientific Publications
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