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Muscle Fibre Types in Head Muscles of the Perch Perca Fluviatilis (L), Teleostei

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

In head and body muscles of the perch four main fibre types, two white and two red, can be distinguished using ATPase activity, pH stability of ATPase and reactions with specific antisera. On the basis of SDH activity and LDH activity each red type was subdivided in two subtypes. One of these subtypes is possibly a differentiating fibre. Electromyographic recordings from head muscle parts containing white fibre types only show activity during rapid vigorous movements (eating, coughing). Muscle parts containing red types are also active during respiratory movements. Fibres corresponding to the well-known description of red muscle fibres of fish are only found in the body muscles. The red head muscles differ from this type by a high LDH activity or by a high, alkali stable, acid stable ATPase activity as determined by histochemistry. A red muscle part consisting mainly of these "high ATPase" red fibres showed only EMG activity during increased respiration. During quiet respiration EMG activity was recorded from a muscle part with a high proportion of red fibres with low ATPase activity and high LDH activity. It is not only in body muscles but also in head muscles that the distribution and occurrence of muscle fibre types is closely related to the functional demands imposed on the muscles during the life of the fish.

Affiliations: 1: Agricultural University, Department of Experimental Animal Morphology and Cell Biology Zodiac, Marijkeweg 40, Wageningen, The Netherlands


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