Fibre type classification and myosin isoforms in the human masseter muscle.J Neurol Sci. 1994 Oct; 126(1):15-24.JN
Human masseter muscle is highly unusual since it contains relatively large numbers of fibres with variable myofibrillar ATPase staining as well as fibres that express neonatal and alpha-cardiac myosin heavy chain (MHC). These findings however, have not been organised together into a fibre type classification scheme. Biopsies from the anterior superficial area of masseter were collected from a large sample of healthy young adults. Biopsies were sectioned and stained for myofibrillar ATPase reactivity and the presence of MHC isoforms as detected by a series of antibodies. The MHC composition of the same biopsies was also analysed using sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). A series of rectus abdominis muscle biopsies were analysed similarly to serve as a control for type I, IIA and IIB fibres and isoforms. From the histochemical, immunohistochemical and biochemical experiments we found the masseter to contain type I, IM, IIC, IIA and IIB fibres as previously classified, but in addition there were type neonatal, alpha-cardiac, and 'other' (three or more myosins including neonatal and alpha-cardiac). The percentage of each fibre type was highly variable in masseter biopsies, but generally type I fibres were most common, and the proportion of IIB, neonatal, alpha-cardiac and 'other' fibres was low. Even in biopsies that contained relatively large amounts of these last three fibre types, the amount of neonatal and/or alpha-cardiac MHC detected on SDS-PAGE was limited, suggesting that these MHCs are a minor component in the fibres in which they are expressed.