Size and myosin heavy chain profiles of rat hindlimb extensor muscle fibers after 2 weeks at 2G.Aviat Space Environ Med. 1996 Sep; 67(9):854-8.AS
The effects of 14 d of continuous centrifugation at approximately 2G on the hindlimb extensor musculature of male rats were studied.
The mean body mass of centrifuged rats was 17% smaller than age-matched controls. In centrifuged rats, the mean absolute masses of the soleus and medial gastrocnemius (MG) were similar to control, while the mean relative masses (expressed as milligram muscle mass/gram of body mass) were larger than control. Based on a battery of monoclonal antibodies for specific myosin heavy chains (MHC), the soleus of centrifuged rats had a lower percentage (68 vs. 74%) of fibers expressing type I MHC only and a higher percentage (15 vs. 10%) that co-expressed type I and IIa MHC's. The MHC composition of fibers from the deep portion of the MG was unaffected by centrifugation. The MHC compositions based on SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis for each muscle were similar in the two groups. Mean fiber size of each fiber type in the soleus was unaffected by centrifugation. In the MG, the fibers, expressing only type IIb MHC were smaller in the centrifuge compared to control rats.
Although 2 weeks of chronic centrifugation at 2G resulted in a cessation of body growth, there was essentially no effect on the muscle masses or fiber size in either a slow or fast extensor muscle. These data suggest that periods of centrifugation may be beneficial in maintaining extensor muscle mass in an animal that is not growing at a normal rate e.g., during chronic unloading.