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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • immunohistochemistry;
  • myosin heavy chain;
  • hybrid

Summary

Skeletal muscle is composed of a heterogeneous mixture of several fibre types, each with specific physiological properties. In equine muscle, identification of these individual fibres (fibre typing) is important for both exercise physiology and pathological studies. Traditionally, fibre typing has been achieved by adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) histochemistry or by immunoperoxidase labelling with antibodies directed at myosin heavy chain isoforms. ATPase histochemistry can be temperamental and lacks specificity, and both techniques require staining of serial cryosections to reveal the entire fibre type compliment of a single sample, which is time consuming and prone to inaccuracy. Here we describe an immunofluorescence labelling technique that enables rapid, accurate and specific identification of the 3 mature equine muscle fibre types in a single cryosection.