Ageing influences myonuclear domain size differently in fast and slow skeletal muscle of rats


Brooks N, Schuenke M & Hikida R (2009) Ageing influences myonuclear domain size differently in fast and slow skeletal muscle of rats. Acta Physiologica, 197 (1), pp. 55-63.

Aim: In multinucleated skeletal muscle, a myonuclear domain is the region of cytoplasm governed by one nucleus, and myofibres are mosaics of overlapping myonuclear domains. Association of ageing and myonuclear domain is important in the understanding of sarcopenia and with prevention or combating age-related muscle declines. This study examined the effects of age, fibre type and muscle on nucleo-cytoplasmic (N/C) relationships as reflecting myonuclear domain size. Methods: The N/C was compared in fibre types of soleus and plantaris muscles from young (n = 6) and ageing (n = 8) male Fisher 344 rats. Results: There were no significant differences in fibre type composition or cross-sectional area of the soleus across ages. The old soleus had significantly more myonuclei, resulting in a significantly smaller myonuclear domain size. The plantaris muscle showed a higher percentage of slow fibres in old compared with young fibres. There were no differences in the number of myonuclei or in myonuclear domain size between young and older animals. Conclusion: We found muscle-specific differences in the effects of ageing on myonuclear domain, possibly as a result of reduced efficiency of the myonuclei in the slow muscles.

ageing; myonuclear domain; plantaris; skeletal muscle; soleus; Muscle, Skeletal ; Aging ; Cytoplasm

Acta Physiologica: Volume 197, Issue 1

Publication date30/09/2009
PublisherWiley-Blackwell for the Federation of European Physiological Societies and the Scandinavian Physiological Society