Plasticity of skeletal muscle: Regenerating fibers adapt more rapidly than surviving fibers

  • Donovan C
  • Faulkner J
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The properties of mammalian skeletal muscle demonstrate a high degree of structural and functional plasticity as evidenced by their adaptability to an atypical site after cross-transplantation and to atypical innervation after cross-innervation. We tested the hypothesis that, regardless of fiber type, skeletal muscles composed of regenerating fibers adapt more readily than muscles composed of surviving fibers when placed in an atypical site with atypical innervation. Fast muscles of rats were autografted into the site of slow muscles or vice versa with the donor muscle innervated by the motor nerve to the recipient site. Surviving fibers in donor muscles were obtained by grafting with vasculature intact (vascularized muscle graft), and regenerating fibers were obtained by grafting with vasculature severed (free muscle graft). Our hypothesis was supported because 60 days after grafting, transposed muscles with surviving fibers demonstrated only a slight change from the contractile properties and fiber typing of donor muscles, whereas transplanted muscles with regenerating fibers demonstrated almost complete change to those of the muscle formerly in the atypical site.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Animals
  • Autologous
  • Female
  • Inbred Strains
  • Muscles
  • Muscles: physiology
  • Muscles: transplantation
  • Rats
  • Regeneration
  • Transplantation

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  • ISSN: 8750-7587
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-0023180879
  • PUI: 17093471
  • PMID: 3610942
  • SGR: 0023180879


  • C M Donovan

  • J A Faulkner

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