Adaptive changes in structure of skeletal muscles from adult Sod1 homozygous knockout mice

Tatiana Y. Kostrominova, Krystyna A. Pasyk, Holly Van Remmen, Arlan G. Richardson, John A. Faulkner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1), which is localized cytoplasmically and in the mitochondrial intermembrane space, is an enzyme that is critically important for superoxide free-radical elimination. Compared with age-matched wild-type littermates (Sod1 +/+ ), SOD1 homozygous knockout (Sod1 -/- ) mice have smaller body masses, heart and skeletal muscle masses, and muscle cross-sectional areas. At the light-microscopic level, cross sections of skeletal muscles from Sod1 -/- mice show no gross structural abnormalities. Following the staining of muscles of Sod1 -/- mice for succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) enzymatic activity, a grouping of SDH-positive fibers has been observed. Immunostaining for neural cell adhesion marker in the gastrocnemius muscle of Sod1 -/- mice has revealed a small number of atrophic denervated muscle fibers. No denervated fibers are observed in extensor digitorum longus (EDL), tibialis anterior, or plantaris muscles. An increase in mRNA expression levels of myogenin and acetylcholine receptor alpha has been detected in muscles in Sod1 -/- mice, but no changes in MyoD expression occur. Compared with fast oxidative fibers in EDL muscles of Sod1 +/+ mice, those of Sod1 -/- mice show increased accumulations of sub-sarcolemmal mitochondria. We conclude that the lack of SOD1 in adult Sod1 -/- mice does not result in extensive denervation of skeletal muscle fibers, although the distribution of fiber types is modified, and that fast oxidative fibers develop alterations in the amount and spatial distribution of sub-sarcolemmal mitochondria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-605
Number of pages11
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Denervation
  • Electron microscopy
  • Gene expression
  • Mouse, knockout (Sod1 )
  • Sub-sarcolemmal mitochondria
  • Superoxide dismutase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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