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Differences in the histochemical properties of skeletal muscles of different breeds of horses and dogs


, : Differences in the histochemical properties of skeletal muscles of different breeds of horses and dogs. Journal of Anatomy 127(Pt 3): 615-634

Fresh frozen transverse serial sections of semitendinosus muscle, diaphragm muscle and pectoralis transversus muscle from 32 horses and 31 dogs were treated to demonstrate their histochemical reactions for myosin ATPase, succinate dehydrogenase (SDHase) and glycogen phosphorylase (GPase). Histochemical profiles were established on approximately 400 fibers in samples from each of the muscles in both species. In both species the major histochemical difference between fibers is their myosin ATPase activity, which differentiates them according to whether they have a high (AH) or low (AL) activity. All the fibers in adult horse muscle have a high GPase activity. Fibers with a low activity for SDHase are present in semitendinosus muscle but all the fibers have a high activity for SDHase in the other 2 muscles. In dog muscle all fibers have a high SDHase activity and AL fibers have a low activity for GPase. In both species the diaphragm has a greater proportional AL area than the pectoralis transversus muscle, which in turn has a greater proportional AL area than the semitendinosus muscle. The proportion of AL fibers varies across the transverse section of the semitendinosus and pectoralis transversus muscle. Thoroughbred horses and greyhound dogs (breeds selected for high speed running) have a greater proportional area of AH fibers in pectoralis transversus and the semitendinosus muscles than other members of their species. This feature is also present in the diaphragm of the greyhound when compared with other dogs. This difference between types is not apparently due to training, as are the differences in aerobic and anaerobic capacity (shown in other studies). The dissimilarity in the proportion of muscles occupied by AH fibers suggests that there may be differences in the nervous systems of athletes and non-athletes. The proportion of fiber types in muscles are apparently related to the function of the muscles and their parts. The value for the proportion of fiber types (as differentiated by the myosin ATPase reaction) in the limb muscles of thoroughbred crosses lies between those of thoroughbreds and non-thoroughbreds, but no sex differences or detraining effects were apparent.

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Accession: 005151305

PMID: 154495

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