Fiber Type Differences in SDHmax and Mitochondrial Volume Density between Diaphragm and Tibialis Anterior Muscles

Genesis A. Hernandez-Vizcarrondo, Alyssa D. Brown, Leah A. Davis, Matthew J. Fogarty, Carlos B. Mantilla, Gary C Sieck

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The diaphragm (DIAm) and tibialis anterior (TA) muscles comprise both fatigue resistant (type I and IIa) and fatigable (type IIx/IIb) muscle fibers. Type I and IIa fibers in the DIAm are very frequently recruited for breathing, whereas in the TA, type I and IIa fibers are recruited for balance and locomotion. More fatigable type IIx/IIb fibers are only infrequently recruited for higher force behaviors in both the DIAm and TA. The repetitive activation of the DIAm during breathing is associated with a duty cycle of 40-50%, making the DIAm one of, if not the most active muscle in the body - much more active than the TA. These differences in activation history lead to differences in energetic demands between the DIAm and TA. We hypothesized that type I and IIa fibers in the DIAm exhibit a greater mitochondrial volume density and respiratory capacity (SDHmax ) compared to type I and IIa fibers in the TA. Muscle segments from both DIAm and TA were dissected from adult female and male Sprague-Dawley rats (~300 g), pinned to cork at optimal sarcomere length and rapidly frozen in melting isopentane. Subsequently, transverse serial sections of muscle fibers were cut at 10 µm thickness. In a series of transverse sections, muscle fiber types were determined by immunoreactivity to specific myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoform antibodies. In an alternate series of sections of the same muscle fibers, mitochondria were labeled using MitoTracker Green. In a third series of alternate sections, the maximum velocity of the succinate dehydrogenase reaction (SDHmax ) was measured using a quantitative histochemical assay in which accumulation of the reaction product, nitroblue tetrazolium diformazan (NBTdfz ), was measured as a change in optical density (OD) in muscle fibers every 15 s for a 10-min period. Muscle fiber sections were imaged in 3D using an Olympus Fluoview confocal microscope (40X oil immersion lens; NA 1.4) with an optical slice of 0.5 µm. In the mitoTracker labeled sections, each optical slice was deconvolved to increase spatial resolution (0.125 µm) and after thresholding, binarized images were reconstructed in 3D and analyzed for mitochondrial volume and mitochondrial complexity index (MCI= SA3 /16µ2 V2 ) using ImageJ and NIS elements. Mitochondrial volume density and morphometry were analyzed using ImageJ. The mitochondrial volume density and SDHmax were greater in type I and IIa fibers of the DIAm compared to the TA. On the other hand, mitochondrial volume density and SDHmax of type IIx/IIb fibers were comparable between the DIAm and TA. These results support mitochondrial structural and functional adaptations in type I and IIa DIAm fibers based on activation history and greater energetic demand.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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