Does intrauterine crowding affect the force generating capacity and muscle composition of the piglet front limb?

Autoři: Charlotte Vanden Hole aff001;  Chris Van Ginneken aff001;  Sara Prims aff001;  Miriam Ayuso aff001;  Steven Van Cruchten aff001;  Peter Aerts aff002
Působiště autorů: Laboratory of Applied Veterinary Morphology, Department of Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Biomedical, Pharmaceutical and Veterinary Sciences, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium aff001;  Laboratory of Functional Morphology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium aff002;  Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article


In the pig, intrauterine competition (IUC) greatly affects postnatal traits, such as birth weight, but also locomotor capacities. In a previous study, our group discovered a lower motor performance in piglets with a low birth weight and low vitality (L piglets), compared to piglets with a normal birth weight and normal vitality (N piglets). In order to explain the force deficit causing this reduced motor performance, in a subsequent study, we investigated whether this deficit in L piglets was caused by a lower force generating capacity (FGC) of the extensors of the hind limb and/or a lower number of type II (fast-twitch) fibers in m. vastus lateralis. L piglets had a lower absolute FGC, but surprisingly, a higher relative FGC (to birth weight) in the hind limb, compared to N piglets. In addition, we found no differences in fiber composition of m. vastus lateralis. In the present study, we assessed whether this higher relative FGC is a common feature for front and hind limb locomotor muscles of L piglets. To that end, the physiological cross-sectional area of the main extensor muscles of the front limb was calculated from their volume and fiber length, in order to calculate both the absolute and the relative FGC. By immunohistochemical staining of m. triceps brachii caput longum, the percentage of type II (fast-contracting) fibers could be determined. Similar to the results of the hind limb, we found a smaller absolute FGC, but a larger relative FGC in the front limb of L piglets, compared to N piglets. In addition, m. triceps brachii caput longum did not have a different muscle fiber composition in L and N piglets. As such, we can conclude that IUC affects the locomotor muscles in the front and hind limb in a similar way and that the observed force deficit in L piglets cannot be explained by a different force generating capacity or a lower percentage of type II muscle fibers.

Klíčová slova:

Birth weight – Body limbs – Legs – Muscle fibers – Swine – Fast-twitch muscle fibers – Triceps – Slow-twitch muscle fibers


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