Skeletal muscle in the diabetic mouse: histochemical and morphometric analysis

Anat Rec. 1989 Sep;225(1):41-5. doi: 10.1002/ar.1092250107.


Despite the extensive literature concerning the neuropathy associated with diabetes, only limited information describes changes in the associated muscle. The objective of this study was to evaluate the histochemical and morphometric characteristics of diabetic muscle in the C57BL/KsJ db-m strain of mouse. The histochemical analysis of myofiber type for the diabetic mouse revealed that the extensor digitorum longus muscle consisted of 53.1% type 2a, 46.0% type 2b, and 0.9% type 1 myofibers, a significant shift from the percentages found in the nondiabetic litter mates (44.4% type 2a, 55.6% type 2b, no type 1). Computer-assisted morphometric analysis of myofiber size by fiber type indicated a significant difference in myofiber size for the type 2b fibers in muscles from diabetic mice. Similarly, there was a shift in the fiber size distribution to include a greater number of small type 2b myofibers when compared to controls. Skeletal muscle from diabetic mice exhibited a significant change in the percentage of fiber types, with an increase in the number of type 2a fibers, a fiber type grouping that implies possible denervation and reinnervation, and a decrease in myofiber size. These findings may explain why some diabetic patients complain of muscle weakness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / enzymology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / pathology*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL / genetics
  • Muscles / enzymology
  • Muscles / pathology*
  • Mutation