Maturation, dystrophic changes and the continuous production of fibers in skeletal muscle regenerating in the absence of nerve

I. Mussini, G. Favaro, D. Biol, U. Carraro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate how much skeletal muscle depends on influences coming from peripheral nerve, we studied muscle regeneration induced by bupivacaine in the permanently denervated soleus muscle of adult rats. Using light and electron microscopy, we studied the extent of maturation attained by regenerated myofibers and their ability to regenerate again after repeated bupivacaine injury. Morphometric analyses showed that within the first two weeks after injury, the regenerated denervated fibers increased in diameter, matured and then became atrophic. By electron microscopy the morphological characteristics of mature fibers are evident, but final differentiation into adult fiber types is not attained. This is in keeping with previously reported biochemical results. A new phase of massive regeneration occurred when bupivacaine treatment was repeated, thus demonstrating that regenerated myofibers devoid of innervation keep their intrinsic ability to regenerate after injury. Spontaneous though scanty regeneration also occurred in denervated regenerated muscle at late stages, when atrophy and dystrophy of fibers became prominent. Concomitantly the relative number of myosatellite cells remained high. These morphological observations further support the hypothesis that fiber regeneration participates in the maintenance of chronically denervated muscles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-331
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1987


  • Denervation, muscle
  • Morphometry
  • Regeneration, muscle
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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