Aging alters contractile properties and fiber morphology in pigeon skeletal muscle

Emidio E. Pistilli, Stephen Alway, John M. Hollander, Jeffrey H. Wimsatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, we tested the hypothesis that skeletal muscle from pigeons would display age-related alterations in isometric force and contractile parameters as well as a shift of the single muscle fiber cross-sectional area (CSA) distribution toward smaller fiber sizes. Maximal force output, twitch contraction durations and the force–frequency relationship were determined in tensor propatagialis pars biceps muscle from young 3-year-old pigeons, middle-aged 18-year-old pigeons, and aged 30-year-old pigeons. The fiber CSA distribution was determined by planimetry from muscle sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Maximal force output of twitch and tetanic contractions was greatest in muscles from young pigeons, while the time to peak force of twitch contractions was longest in muscles from aged pigeons. There were no changes in the force–frequency relationship between the age groups. Interestingly, the fiber CSA distribution in aged muscles revealed a greater number of larger sized muscle fibers, which was verified visually in histological images. Middle-aged and aged muscles also displayed a greater amount of slow myosin containing muscle fibers. These data demonstrate that muscles from middle-aged and aged pigeons are susceptible to alterations in contractile properties that are consistent with aging, including lower force production and longer contraction durations. These functional changes were supported by the appearance of slow myosin containing muscle fibers in muscles from middle-aged and aged pigeons. Therefore, the pigeon may represent an appropriate animal model for the study of aging-related alterations in skeletal muscle function and structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1039
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Volume184
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Columbidae
pigeons
Muscle
skeletal muscle
Skeletal Muscle
muscle
Aging of materials
middle-aged adults
Muscles
Fibers
muscles
muscle fibers
contraction
myosin
Myosins
fibre
duration
functional change
Hematoxylin
Eosine Yellowish-(YS)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

Cite this

Aging alters contractile properties and fiber morphology in pigeon skeletal muscle. / Pistilli, Emidio E.; Alway, Stephen; Hollander, John M.; Wimsatt, Jeffrey H.

In: Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology, Vol. 184, No. 8, 01.01.2014, p. 1031-1039.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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