Histochemical, Enzymatic, and Contractile Properties of Skeletal Muscle Fibers in the Lizard Dipsosaurus dorsalis

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Lizard skeletal muscle fiber types were investigated in the iliofibularis (IF) muscle of the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis). Three fiber types were identified based on histochemical staining for myosin ATPase (mATPase), succinic dehydrogenase (SDH), and αglycerophosphate dehydrogenase (αGPDH) activity. The pale region of the IF contains exclusively fast-twitch-glycolytic (FG) fibers, which stain dark for mATPase and αGPDH, light for SDH. The red region of the IF contains fast-twitch-oxidative-glycolytic (FOG) fibers, which stain dark for all three enzymes, and tonic fibers, which stain light for mATPase, dark for SDH, and moderate for αGPDH confirm these histochemical interpretations. Lizard FG and FOG fibers possess twitch contraction times and resistance to fatigue comparable to analogous fibers in mammals, but are one-half as oxidative and several times as glycolytic as analogous fibers in rats. Lizard tonic fibers demonstrate the acetylcholine sensitivity common to other vertebrate tonic fibers.



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