Histological and morphometric analysis of skeletal muscle in some vertebrates

The skeletal system is primarily driven by the skeletal muscles to produce kinematic movements. The study evaluates the histological and morphometric properties of skeletal muscle in Clarias gariepenus (Cl. gariepinus), Bufo bufo (B. bufo), Agama agama (A. agama), Columba livia domestica (C. domestica) and Rattus rattus (R. rattus). The study was carried in order to relate the similarities and differences of skeletal muscles in these species with evolutionary trend. The epaxial muscle of Cl. Gariepinus, the biceps femoris muscle of B. bufo, R. rattus, puboischiotibialis of A. agama, and pectoral muscle from C. domestica were removed and assessed grossly for physical appearance then processed for histological analysis. The diameters of the muscle fibers were measured and one-way analysis of variance was used to compare the differences. The muscles of Cl. gariepinus, B. bufo and A. agama appeared whitish with scanty fusiform nucleus and large intermuscular space. However, the muscles of C. domestica and R. rattus appeared red with distinct round nucleus and small intermuscular space. No significant difference (P>0.05) was observed in the muscle diameter of Cl. gariepinus (8.86±0.13µm) compared to B. bufo (8.25±0.27µm). The muscle diameter of A. agama (10.18±0.25µm) was significantly higher (P<0.05) relative to Cl. gariepinus (8.86±0.13µm), B. bufo (8.25±0.27µm), C. domestica (3.38±0.13µm) and R. rattus (4.66±0.15µm). Conclusively, non-tetrapod vertebrates (Cl. gariepinus, B. bufo, and A. agama) have simple, white-colored skeletal muscle with few flat-shaped nuclei and large fiber diameters while higher vertebrates (C. domestica and R. rattus) have complex, red-colored skeletal muscle with numerous oval-shaped nucleus and small fiber diameter.

 Manye Sunday Joseph, Dibal Nathan Isaac and Attah Martha Orendu Oche