Design of the mammalian respiratory system. VII. Scaling mitochondrial volume in skeletal muscle to body mass

Odile Mathieu, Rudolf Krauer, Hans Hoppeler, Peter Gehr, Stan L. Lindstedt, R. Mc Neill Alexander, C. Richard Taylor, Ewald R. Weibel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

95 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since O2 is mainly consumed in muscle mitochondria during heavy physical work, one would except to find a relationship between the volume density of mitochondria in skeletal muscles and maximal O2 uptake. We analyzed the volume density of mitochondria, VV(mt,f), in four muscles of a series of African mammals ranging in body mass from 0.4 to 251 kg. VV(mt,f) scaled as Mb-0.231, Mb-0.163, Mb-0.139 and Mb-0.055 in Mm. semitendinosus, longissimus dorsi, vastus medialis and diaphragm, respectively. The mass or volume of diaphragm was found to scale as Mb-0.865, whereas for Mm. semitendinosus and vastus medialis, muscle volume (Vmu) scales as Mb1.030 and Mb0.956, respectively. Scaling the absolute volume of mitochondria Vmt, in these muscles (Vmt = VV(mt,f) x Vmu) against Mb gives regression lines whose slopes closely parallel that obtained for V̇O2max against body mass. Therefore the ratio of volume of mitochondria in these muscles to V̇O2max is body mass independent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalRespiration Physiology
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1981
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • African mammals
  • Allometry
  • Capillary density
  • Mitochondrial volume density
  • Muscle morphometry
  • Oxygen consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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    Mathieu, O., Krauer, R., Hoppeler, H., Gehr, P., Lindstedt, S. L., Alexander, R. M. N., Taylor, C. R., & Weibel, E. R. (1981). Design of the mammalian respiratory system. VII. Scaling mitochondrial volume in skeletal muscle to body mass. Respiration Physiology, 44(1), 113-128. https://doi.org/10.1016/0034-5687(81)90079-7