Unique expression of cytoskeletal proteins in human soft palate muscles
2016 (English)In: Journal of Anatomy, ISSN 0021-8782, E-ISSN 1469-7580, Vol. 228, no 3, 487-494 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The human oropharyngeal muscles have a unique anatomy with diverse and intricate functions. To investigate if this specialization is also reflected in the cytoarchitecture of muscle fibers, intermediate filament proteins and the dystrophin-associated protein complex have been analyzed in two human palate muscles, musculus uvula (UV) and musculus palatopharyngeus (PP), with immunohistochenmical and morphological techniques. Human limb muscles were used as reference. The findings show that the soft palate muscle fibers have a cytoskeletal architecture that differs from the limb muscles. While all limb muscles showed immunoreaction for a panel of antibodies directed against different domains of cytoskeletal proteins desmin and dystrophin, a subpopulation of palate muscle fibers lacked or had a faint immunoreaction for desmin (UV 11.7% and PP 9.8%) and the C-terminal of the dystrophin molecule (UV 4.2% and PP 6.4%). The vast majority of these fibers expressed slow contractile protein myosin heavy chain I. Furthermore, an unusual staining pattern was also observed in these fibers for β-dystroglycan, caveolin-3 and neuronal nitric oxide synthase nNOS, which are all membrane-linking proteins associated with the dystrophin C-terminus. While the immunoreaction for nNOS was generally weak or absent, β-dystroglycan and caveolin-3 showed a stronger immunostaining. The absence or a low expression of cytoskeletal proteins otherwise considered ubiquitous and important for integration and contraction of muscle cells indicate a unique cytoarchitecture designed to meet the intricate demands of the upper airway muscles. It can be concluded that a subgroup of muscle fibers in the human soft palate appears to have special biomechanical properties, and their unique cytoarchitecture must be taken into account while assessing function and pathology in oropharyngeal muscles.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. Vol. 228, no 3, 487-494 p.
cytoskeleton, desmin, dystrophin, muscle fiber, palatopharyngeus, sleep apnea, soft palate, uvula
Research subject Human Anatomy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-115780DOI: 10.1111/joa.12417ISI: 000373121100011PubMedID: 26597319OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-115780DiVA: diva2:900462
FunderSwedish Heart Lung Foundation