Age changes of muscle fiber type in rat gastrocnemius

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Tropf, Thomas E.
Ganion, Larry R.
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Thesis (M.S.)--Ball State University.
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A comparative study on the age changes in rat skeletal muscle tissue was performed using rats of different ages. The gastrocnemius muscle from rats of 3, 6, and 22 months of age was removed and examined for the presence of Type I fibers. Myosin ATPase histochemistry was used to differentiate between Type I and Type II fibers. A count of the number of Type I fibers in the entire gastrocnemius was made using fiber maps obtained from the stained muscle samples. The total number of fibers in some of the muscle samples was also determined.The results indicated a steady decline in the total number of muscle fibers from the ages of 3 to 22 months. With the exception of the 6 month group, the number of Type I fibers remained fairly constant. However, there was a definite increase in the percentage of Type I fibers found in the 22 month rats. An increase in the diameter of the muscle fibers in the 22 month rats was also observed.Ball State UniversityMuncie, IN 47306