Estimation of number of fibers in guinea pig skeletal muscles

L. C. Maxwell, J. A. Faulkner, G. J. Hyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


In a number of investigations, changes in fibers per cross section were interpreted as changes in the total fibers per muscle. In many muscles, not all fibers appear in cross sections. From theoretical considerations, it is concluded that when disproportionate changes occur in fiber area, fiber length, and muscle length, the fibers per cross section may change although total fibers per muscle remain constant. To test this hypothesis, fiber volumes and muscle volumes of the soleus and plantaris of 2 to 14 wk old guinea pigs were determined. Total fibers per muscle were calculated by dividing muscle volume by fiber volume. No fiber loss was observed in either the soleus or plantaris. These results are consistent with conclusions based on fiber counts per cross section that no fiber loss occurs in the soleus, but contrary to our earlier interpretations of significant fiber loss in the plantaris. Theoretical considerations as well as data indicate many conditions in which a change in the number of fibers per cross section does not indicate a change in the number of fibers per muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1974
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimation of number of fibers in guinea pig skeletal muscles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this