Skeletal muscle fibre diversity and the underlying mechanisms

M. Canepari, M. A. Pellegrino, G. D'Antona, R. Bottinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The review first briefly summarizes how myosin isoforms have been identified as the major determinant of the functional variability among skeletal muscle fibres. The latter feature is a major characteristic of muscle fibres and a major basis of skeletal muscle heterogeneity and plasticity in vivo. Then, evidence is reported, which indicates that the properties of muscle fibres can vary with no change in the myosin isoform they express. Moreover, the physiological and pathological conditions (ageing, disuse, exercise training, muscular dystrophy) in which such myosin isoform independent change in functional properties occurs and the possible underlying mechanisms are considered. Finally, the known molecular bases of the functional differences among slow and fast isoforms are briefly dealt with.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-476
Number of pages12
JournalActa Physiologica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • muscle fibres
  • myosin isoforms
  • skeletal muscle plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Medicine(all)


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