Contractile properties, fiber types, and myosin isoforms in fast and slow muscles of hyperactive Japanese waltzing mice

Exp Neurol. 2003 Dec;184(2):758-66. doi: 10.1016/S0014-4886(03)00294-2.


This study focuses on the effects of neuromuscular hyperactivity on the contractile properties, fiber type composition, and myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform expression of fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and slow-twitch soleus (SOL) muscles in Japanese waltzing mice (JWM) of the C57BL/6J-v2J strain. The same properties were studied in the homologous muscle of control CBA/J mice (CM). In comparison to CM, the JWM exhibited (i) longer activity periods, prolonged bouts of running and a higher food intake, (ii) slower twitch and tetanic contractions of both EDL and SOL muscles, decreased cold and post-tetanic potentiation of the EDL, as well as increased cold and post-tetanic depressions of the SOL. Electrophoretic analyses of MHC isoform revealed a shift toward slower isoforms in both EDL and SOL muscles of JWM as compared to the homologous muscles of CM, namely, a shift from the fastest MHCIIb to the MHCIId/x isoform in the EDL muscle and a shift from MHCIIa to MHCI in the SOL muscle. The latter also contained a higher percentage of type I fibers and displayed a higher capillary density than the SOL muscle of CM. These findings show that the inherently enhanced motor activity of the JWM leads to fiber type transitions in the direction of slower phenotypes. JWM thus represent a suitable model for studying fast-to-slow fiber transitions under the influence of spontaneous motor hyperactivity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Female
  • Hyperkinesis / etiology
  • Hyperkinesis / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch / chemistry*
  • Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch / physiology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / chemistry*
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / chemistry*
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / abnormalities


  • Protein Isoforms
  • Myosin Heavy Chains