Muscle phenotype remains unaltered after limb autotomy and unloading

Bruce Griffis, Stacia B. Moffett, Robin L. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Loss of chelipeds in crustaceans results in severe atrophy of the major muscle responsible for lifting the limb, the anterior levator. We decided to test if this loss of mechanical load altered muscle phenotype as measured by SDS-PAGE analysis of levator total protein and actomyosin fractions. Levator muscles of adult crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, with either functional regenerate limbs or lack of limb buds (papilla stage) were compared with those from normal contralateral limbs and those from pristine animals. We find that there is no difference in protein profiles among the three conditions. However, the total protein profile for the dually excited levator muscle is unique compared to those of fast or slow muscles of the abdomen (L and SEL, respect- ively), which receive only phasic or tonic excitatory innervation. The levator myosin heavy chain profile is similar to that of slow phenotype muscles such as the SEL and opener. We conclude that load does not influence levator phenotype. This is likely due either to the intact innervation and continued activation of the levator during atrophy or to the maintenance of passive tension on the muscle. J. Exp. Zool. 289:10-22, 2001.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-22
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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