Research showing previous misclassification of human muscle fibre types

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Collaborative research between the Departments of Professor Anthony J Sargeant and Professor Geoffrey Goldspink.
Pflugers Archiv
Pflugers Arch. 1997 Dec;435(1):151-63

Abstract Combined methodologies of histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and a histochemical method specific for myofibrillar ATPase (mATPase) of the type IIX myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoform were used to study human and rat single fibres to examine the homology between type II MyHC isoform-based fibres of both species. We demonstrate that human type II fibres exhibit antigenic mATPase and 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR) sequence determinants homologous to the IIA and IIX but not the IIB MyHC isoforms of the rat. Both immunolabelling with anti-MyHC monoclonal antibodies and the mATPase method used with frozen sections confirmed that all human type II fibres express type IIA and/or type IIX MyHC.

Quantitative immunohistochemistry failed to recognize human fibres with antigenic characteristics corresponding to hybrid IIXB MyHC-based fibres. Ca2+-stimulated maximum myosin ATPase activity, determined by quantitative histochemistry, revealed that human IIX fibres (with an optical density or OD = 0.707) display enzyme activity which is comparable to that of the rat type IIX (OD = 0.687) but lower than that of the rat type IIB fibres (OD = 0.836). The results do not support the notion that MyHC IIB is expressed in human limb muscles, even in hybrid fibres. We conclude that human type II fibres have been misclassified in numerous previous publications and that this has important implications in attempts to compare the physiological characteristics of fibre types, particularly when animal models are used.

http://www.pubfacts.com/author/Anthony+J+Sargeant

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