In this study, morphological and immunohistochemical alterations of skeletal muscle tissues during persistent contraction were examined by in vivo cryotechnique (IVCT). Contraction of gastrocnemius muscles was induced by sciatic nerve stimulation. The IVCT was performed immediately, 3 min or 10 min after the stimulation start. Prominent ripples of muscle fibers or wavy deformation of sarcolemma were detected immediately after the stimulation, but they gradually diminished to normal levels during the stimulation. The relative ratio of sarcomere and A band lengths was the highest in the control group, but it immediately decreased to the lowest level and then gradually recovered at 3 min or 10 min. Although histochemical intensity of PAS reaction was almost homogeneous in muscle tissues of the control group or immediately after the stimulation, it decreased at 3 min or 10 min. Serum albumin was immunolocalized as dot-like patterns within some muscle fibers at 3 min stimulation. These patterns became more prominent at 10 min, and the dots got larger and saccular in some sarcoplasmic regions. However, IgG1 and IgM were immunolocalized in blood vessels under nerve stimulation conditions. Therefore, IVCT was useful to capture the morphofunctional and metabolic changes of heterogeneous muscle fibers during the persistent contraction.
2015 The Japan Society of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry