The effect of denervation on avian muscle α‐spectrin was examined in fast and slow muscles. Using immunofluorescence, the surgically denervated fast‐twitch posterior latissimus dorsi (PLD) exhibited a significant increase in spectrin antigen associated with the sarcolemma and within the sarcoplasm compared with the contralateral innervated control muscle. Using gel electrophoresis followed by immunoblotting, we found a two‐ to three‐fold increase in the levels of spectrin in the denervated PLD over that found in the innervated PLD. These levels were comparable to those found previously in slow and dystrophic muscle. The intrafiber distribution of spectrin is similar between the denervated PLD and the slow‐tonic anterior latissimus dorsi (ALD). When spectrin was examined in dystrophic PLD muscle, denervation was found to have no effect. These results support our hypothesis that the concentration of spectrin within muscle fibers reflects the physiological state of those fibers. Changes in spectrin concentration may be a useful probe to study the various alterations in physical parameters found among fast, slow, dystrophic, and denervated fibers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Physiology (medical)