PurposeThe purpose of this study was to investigate the cytoskeletal composition of myotendinous junctions (MTJs) in the human extraocular muscles (EOMs). Desmin and other major cytoskeletal proteins are enriched at the MTJs of ordinary myofibers, where they are proposed to be of particular importance for force transmission and required to maintain myofiber integrity.
MethodsEOM and limb muscle samples were analyzed with immunohistochemistry using antibodies against the intermediate filament proteins desmin, nestin, keratin 19, vimentin, and different myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoforms. MTJs were identified by labeling with antibodies against laminin or tenascin.
ResultsIn contrast to MTJs in lumbrical muscle where desmin, nestin, and keratin 19 were always present, approximately one-third of the MTJs in the EOMs lacked either desmin and/or nestin, and all MTJs lacked keratin 19. Approximately 6% of the MTJs in the EOMs lacked all of these key cytoskeletal proteins.
ConclusionsThe cytoskeletal protein composition of MTJs in human EOMs differed significantly from that of MTJs in limb muscles. These differences in cytoskeletal protein composition may indicate particular adaptation to meet the functional requirements of the EOMs.
SUBMITTER: Liu JX