Myosin heavy chain isoform composition in striated muscle after denervation and self-reinnervation

A. Jakubiec-Puka, J. Kordowska, C. Catani, U. Carraro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The total content of myosin heavy chains (MHC) and their isoform pattern were studied by biochemical methods in the slow-twitch (soleus) and fast-twitch (extensor digitorum longus) muscles of adult rat during atrophy after denervation and recovery after self-reinnervation. The pattern of fibre types, in terms of ultrastructure, was studied in parallel. After denervation, total MHC content decreased sooner in the slow-twitch muscle than in the fast-twitch. The ratio of MHC-1 and the MHC-2B isoforms to the MHC-2A isoform decreased in the slow and the fast denervated muscles, respectively. After reinnervation of the slow muscle, the normal pattern of MHC recovered within 10 days and the type 1 isoform increased above the normal. In the reinnervated fast muscle, the 2B/2A isoform ratio continued to decrease. Traces of the embryonic MHC isoform, identified by immunochemistry, were found in both denervated and reinnervated slow and fast muscles. A shift in fibre types was similar to that found in the MHC isoforms. Within 2 months of recovery a tendency to normalization was observed. The results show that (a) MHC-2B isoform and the morphological characteristics of the 2B-type muscle fibres are susceptible to lack of innervation, similar to those of type 1, (b) during muscle recovery induced by reinnervation the MHC isoforms and muscle fibres shift transiently to type 1 in the soleus and to type 2A in the extensor digitorum longus muscles, and (c) the embryonic isoform of MHC may appear in the adult skeletal muscles if innervation is disturbed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-628
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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