Effects of hypergravity on fiber type and muscle mass in ankle extensors, including a compartmentalized muscle

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Ophelia I. Weeks

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Richard Bone

Third Advisor's Name

George Dalrymple

Date of Defense



Mice (30+-3 days old) were exposed to hypergravity (4G, one hour/day). Cross-sections of ankle extensor muscles stained immunohistochemically against slow myosin (MHC) determined if hypergravity affects the distribution of slow muscle fibers. Comparisons (ANOVA) between exposed and unexposed animals show hypergravity causes increases in slow fiber density in soleus after fourteen (p=0.049) and thirty day (p=0.Ol9) exposures. Therefore, loading may induce faster development of soleus through increased slow fiber density. Slow fibers increase in plantaris in males after seven (p=0.008) and in females after fourteen days (p=0.003), suggesting hypergravity delays normal elimination of slow fibers. Lateral and intermediate heads of lateral gastrocnemius (LG) show greater numbers of slow fibers, overall, in exposed mice (p=0.003 both). A proximal compartment of LG (LGp) and medial gastrocnemius (MG) are minimally affected by hypergravity. In LGp, only males exposed for fourteen days show decreased slow fiber density (p=0.047), but MG increased slow fiber numbers in exposed females compared to controls (p=0.04).



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