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Postnatal changes in electromyographic signals during piglet growth, and in relation to muscle fibre types

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jonathan Guy, Emerita Professor Sandra Edwards


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This study uses non-invasive evoked surface electromyography (SEMG) to investigate postnatal muscle development in pigs, and to assess any correlation between recorded signal parameters and muscle fibre types in two different skeletal muscles. Four litters (n = 43) of Large White × Landrace pigs were used. Evoked SEMG measurements were taken on days 2, 5, 14, 26, 60 and 151 post partum from m. Longissimus dorsi (LD) and on days 14, 26, 60 and 151 post partum from m. Biceps femoris (BF). A third of each litter was slaughtered at days 27, 61 and 153 post partum. Biopsy samples for LD and BF were taken to categorize muscle fibre types. For LD there was a significant increase in compound muscle action potential (CMAP) parameters from day 2 to day 5 post partum, whilst for BF significant increases occurred from days 14 to 26 post partum. Fibre type development in both muscles showed a significant decrease in type IIA fibre number (P < 0.001) and an increase in type IIB fibre number (P < 0.001). Analysis of CMAP parameters in relation to fibre type percentages showed significant positive correlations between percentage of type I fibres in BF and CMAP Area (r = 0.71; P = 0.05), SlopeL (r = 0.79; P = 0.02) and Corr Peak (r = 0.78; P = 0.02) and a negative correlation with SlopeT (r = 0.89; P = 0.003) at day 151. A greater CMAP Area and Corr Peak as well as steeper leading and trailing slopes were on the other hand correlated to fewer type IIB fibres. It is concluded that 1) changes in the evoked CMAP are muscle-specific during early postnatal development in the pig, and 2) in spite of a small sample size, the correlations between CMAP signal parameters and fibre type percentages warrant further investigation. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Andersen NK, Ravn LS, Guy JH, Edwards SA, Harrison AP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Livestock Science

Year: 2008

Volume: 115

Issue: 2-3

Pages: 301-312

Print publication date: 01/06/2008

ISSN (print): 1871-1413

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2007.08.004


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