Adaptation of the masseter and temporalis muscles following alteration in length, with or without surgical detachment

Leo C. Maxwell, David S. Carlson, James A. McNamara, John A. Faulkner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Histochemical properties, muscle fiber cross‐sectional area, muscle fiber length, and the oxidative capacity of masticatory muscles of female rhesus monkeys were assessed following alteration in functional length by an intraoral appliance or by detachment of the muscle. Experimental groups received the appliance only (A); the appliance and subsequent detachment of the masseter (AD); the appliance and detached masseter, but with surgical reattachment of the masseter to the pterygomasseteric sling (ADR); no appliance, but detachment and reattachment of masseter (DR); or an appliance which was removed after 24 weeks to study posttreatment responses (PT). Animals were sacrificed and the muscles were studied at intervals from 4 to 48 weeks after initiation of the experimental period. The results of these studies led to the following conclusions: (1) Stretching the masseter and temporalis muscles within physiological limits did not significantly alter the proportion of fiber types, although oxidative capacity of the fibers was reduced. (2) Fibers with “intermediate” myofibrillar AT‐Pase activity were no more prevalent in experimental than control muscles. (3) The cross‐sectional area of Type I fibers of masseter muscles decreased following some experimental procedures, indicating that recruitment of these fibers is the most sensitive to altered jaw function. (4) Minimal alteration of muscle capillarity was induced by any of the experimental procedures. (5) The lengths of masseter muscle fibers in Group PT and of temporalis muscle fibers in groups AD and ADR were greater than in control animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-137
Number of pages11
JournalThe Anatomical Record
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Adaptation of the masseter and temporalis muscles following alteration in length, with or without surgical detachment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this