Thermal acclimation induces adaptive changes in subcellular structure of fish skeletal muscle

Am J Physiol. 1989 Jan;256(1 Pt 2):R1-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1989.256.1.R1.


Stereological analyses of electron micrographs were used to quantify physiologically important ultrastructures of slow-twitch oxidative (red) and fast-twitch glycolytic (white) muscle fibers from striped bass (Morone saxatilis) acclimated to 25 and 5 degrees C. The fraction of cell volume occupied by the mitochondria [volume density, Vv (mit,f)] of red fibers increases from 0.286 +/- 0.018 to 0.448 +/- 0.024 between 25 and 5 degrees C; Vv (mit,f) of white fibers increased from 0.027 +/- 0.003 and 0.040 +/- 0.004 at 25 and 5 degrees C, respectively. Because of a concomitant increase in the mass of oxidative muscle, acclimation from 25 to 5 degrees C results in an increase in total mitochondrial volume per 100 g body wt from 2.58 to 6.73 cm3 in oxidative muscle and from 2.46 to 3.40 cm3 in fast glycolytic muscle. Mitochondria of red fibers are in more clustered arrays after cold acclimation. Size and cristae surface densities of individual mitochondria are not affected markedly by acclimation, suggesting true cold-induced proliferation rather than enlargement of organelles. Harmonic means of intermitochondrial spacing in red fibers decreases from 2.64 to 1.43 micron between 25 and 5 degrees C. This reduces diffusion path lengths between sarcoplasmic and mitochondrial compartments proportionately, compensating for decreases in diffusivity of aqueous solutes. Intracellular lipid droplets of red fibers markedly increase in volume density from 0.006 +/- 0.003 at 25 degrees C to 0.079 +/- 0.014 at 5 degrees C.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Animals
  • Diffusion
  • Fishes
  • Glycolysis
  • Hyperplasia
  • Hypertrophy
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Muscles / cytology
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Muscles / ultrastructure
  • Subcellular Fractions / ultrastructure
  • Temperature*