The ontogeny of muscle structure and locomotory function in the long-finned squid Doryteuthis pealeii.
Understanding the extent to which changes in muscle form and function underlie ontogenetic changes in locomotory behaviors and performance is important in understanding the evolution of musculoskeletal systems and also the ecology of different life stages. We explored ontogenetic changes in the structure, myosin heavy chain (MHC) expression and contractile properties of the circular muscles that provide power for jet locomotion in the long-finned squid Doryteuthis pealeii. The circular muscle fibers of newly hatched paralarvae had different sizes, shapes, thick filament lengths, thin:thick filament ratio, myofilament organization and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) distribution than those of adults. Viewed in cross section, most circular muscle cells were roughly triangular or ovoid in shape with a core of mitochondria; however, numerous muscle cells with crescent or other unusual cross-sectional shapes and muscle cells with unequal distributions of mitochondria were present in the paralarvae. The frequency of these muscle cells relative to 'normal' circular muscle cells ranged from 1:6 to 1:10 among the 19 paralarvae we surveyed. The thick filaments of the two types of circular fibers, superficial mitochondria-rich (SMR) and central mitochondria-poor (CMP), differed slightly in length among paralarvae with thick filament lengths of 0.83+/-0.15 microm and 0.71+/-0.1 microm for the SMR and CMP fibers, respectively (P 0.05; ANOVA). During ontogeny the thick filament lengths of both the CMP and SMR fibers increased significantly to 1.78+/-0.27 microm and 3.12+/-0.56 microm, respectively, in adults (Ps highly significant difference post hoc tests). When sectioned parallel to their long axes, the SMR and CMP fibers of both paralarvae and adults exhibited the myofilament arrangements typical of obliquely striated muscle cells but the angle of obliquity of the dense bodies was 22.8+/-2.4 deg. and 4.6+/-0.87 deg. for paralarvae and adults, respectively. There were also differences in the distribution of the anastomosing network of SR. In paralarvae, the outer and central zones of SR were well developed but the intramyoplasmic zone was greatly reduced in some cells or was scattered non-uniformly across the myoplasm. Whereas in adults the intramyoplasmic SR region was composed primarily of flattened tubules, it was composed primarily of rounded vesicles or tubules when present in the paralarvae. The ontogenetic differences in circular muscle structure were correlated with significant differences in their contractile properties. In brief tetanus at 20 degrees C, the mean unloaded shortening velocity of the paralarval circular muscle preparations was 9.1 L(0) s(-1) (where L(0) was the preparation length that generated the peak isometric stress), nearly twice that measured in other studies for the CMP fibers of adults. The mean peak isometric stress was 119+/-15 mN mm(-2) physiological cross section, nearly half that measured for the CMP fibers of adults. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis of paralarval and adult mantle samples revealed very similar expression patterns of the two known isoforms of squid MHC. The ontogenetic differences in the structure and physiology of the circular muscles may result in more rapid mantle movements during locomotion. This prediction is consistent with jet pulse durations observed in other studies, with shorter jet pulses providing hydrodynamic advantages for paralarvae.
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