PMID: 5893686Aug 1, 1965

A comparison of the fine structures of frog slow and twitch muscle fibers

The Journal of Cell Biology
S G Page


The organisation of the myofibrils and the sarcoplasmic reticulum in frog slow muscle fibres has been compared with that in twitch fibres. It has been found that the filaments have the same length in the two types of fibre, but that there are differences in their packing: (a) in contrast to the regular arrangement of the I filaments near the Z line in twitch fibres, those in slow fibres are irregularly packed right up to their insertion into the Z line; (b) the Z line itself shows no ordered structure in slow fibres; (c) the fine cross-links seen between the A filaments at the M line level in twitch fibres are not present in slow fibres. The sarcoplasmic reticulum in slow fibres consists of two separate networks of tubules. One set of tubules (diameter about 500 to 800 A) is oriented mainly in a longitudinal direction. The tubules of the other network (diameter about 300 A) are oriented either transversely at approximately Z line level or longitudinally, connecting the transverse tubules. Triads are very rarely found, occurring at only every 5th or 6th Z line of each fibril. The central element of these triads is continuous with the thin tubules. Slow fibres from muscles soaked in ferritin-containing solutions contain ferritin ...Continue Reading

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