Spatial Arrangement and Metabolic Capacity of Fiber Types in Self-Reinnervated Cat Muscle

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The recovery potential of skeletal muscle was explored by examining cat muscle between 10 and 33 mo after complete transection and immediate surgical reunion of its own nerve. Biochemical analysis of single muscle fibers showed that the activities of key enzymes in energy metabolism (malate and lactate dehydrogenase and adenylokinase) were similar to normal for their respective fiber types, suggesting that incomplete recovery of the ability to sustain submaximal contraction in reinnervated muscles (T.C. Cope, C.B. Webb, and B.R. Botterman. J. Neurophysiol. 65: 648-656, 1991) is explained in some other way. Two independent statistical procedures for assessing the randomness of adjacencies of histochemically identified fiber types showed type grouping in some areas, but there were also many regions with randomly distributed fiber types. These findings demonstrate the potential for substantial recovery of both energy metabolism and dispersion of fiber types after self-reinnervation.

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