Passive stiffness changes in soleus muscles from desmin knockout mice are not due to titin modifications.Pflugers Arch. 2002 Sep; 444(6):771-6.PA
Passive stiffness was found to be increased in mouse soleus muscles lacking desmin. Because titin is considered to be the major source of muscle elasticity, the stiffening might be explainable by titin adaptation. To test this, passive mechanical properties of single skinned fibres of soleus muscles from desmin knockout and control mice were analysed by using various extension tests. Titin expression was studied by SDS-gel electrophoresis. Absence of desmin did not modify either electrophoretic mobility of the titin band (3700 kDa) or optical density-unit ratios between bands for titin and nebulin (congruent with 0.3) and bands for titin and myosin heavy chain (congruent with 0.08). Elastic properties of fibres were not altered in the absence of desmin since passive tensions were similar under quasi-static (56-66 kN m(-2)) and dynamic (100-118 kN m(-2)) conditions whatever the kind of fibre. Thus, titin is unlikely to be responsible for the large increase in passive stiffness observed in whole soleus muscles when desmin is lacking.