Expression of an alpha cardiac-like myosin heavy chain in muscle spindle fibres

Research paper by F. Pedrosa, T. Soukup, L. -E. Thornell

Indexed on: 01 Dec '90Published on: 01 Dec '90Published in: Histochemistry


In the present study we have investigated the reactivity of rat muscle to a specific monoclonal antibody directed against alpha cardiac myosin heavy chain. Serial cross sections of rat hindlimb muscles from the 17th day in utero to adulthood, and after neonatal denervation and de-efferentation, were studied by light microscope immunohistochemistry. Staining with anti-α myosin heavy chain was restricted to intrafusal bag fibres in all specimens studied. Nuclear bag2 fibres were moderately to strongly stained in the intracapsular portion and gradually lost their reactivity towards the ends, whereas nuclear bag1 fibres were stained for a short distance in each pole. Nuclear bag2 fibres displayed reactivity to anti-α myosin heavy chain from the 21st day of gestation, whereas nuclear bag1 fibres only acquired reactivity to anti-α myosin heavy chain three days after birth. After neonatal de-efferentation, the reactivity of nuclear bag2 fibres to anti-α myosin heavy chain was decreased and limited to a shorter portion of the fibre, whereas nuclear bag1 fibres were unreactive. We showed that a myosin heavy chain isoform hitherto unknown for skeletal muscle is specifically expressed in rat nuclear bag fibres. These findings add further complexity to the intricate pattern of isomyosin expression in intrafusal fibres. Furthermore, we show that motor innervation influences the expression of this isomyosin along the length of the fibres.