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We observed differences in the capillary architecture of the skeletal muscles that have different fiber metabolism. The soleus, the vastus intermedius and the tibialis anterior muscles of adult Wistar rats were prepared using two different techniques. Samples for adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) staining were prepared following Dubovitz's method, and the distributions of fiber type, Types 1, 2A and 2B, were analyzed. Then, corrosion casts of capillary architecture of these muscles prepared following Murakami's method were observed with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and compared with the fiber distribution. The fiber type composition of the soleus muscle showed Type 1 (slow-twitch) dominance and that of the vastus intermedius and the tibialis anterior muscle showed Type 2 (fast-twitch) dominance. The capillaries of the soleus muscle were tortuous, and this was thought to be advantageous for blood supply. In contrast, the capillaries of the vastus intermedius and tibialis anterior muscles had a relatively parallel pattern. Additionally, two different patterns of capillary architecture that appeared to correspond to certain metabolic characteristic of different muscle fiber types were preserved with corrosion casting. In conclusion, comparative studies on capillary architecture of the skeletal muscles are useful for analyses of its function.
muscle fiber type
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
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