Polarization states of diffracted light. Changes accompanying fiber activation

Academic Article


  • Measurement of the state of optical polarization of light diffracted from single, skinned and intact fibers of anterior tibialis muscle from Rana pipiens revealed a dependence upon rigor, activation, and sarcomere length (SL) change. Changes in total birefringence, delta nT, and differential field ratio value, rT, were determined. In a relaxed, skinned fiber the total birefringence value, delta nT, decreases as sarcomere length is increased from 2.1 microns to approximately 2.8–3.0 microns. From there it increases significantly to a value of approximately 1.8 x 10(-3) at a sarcomere length of 3.6 microns. The differential field ratio, rT, also shows a biphasic response to increasing sarcomere length, first exhibiting a rapid decrease over shorter SL and leveling out after the SL is beyond 3.0 microns. In comparison, relaxed intact fibers change substantially less upon sarcomere length change, showing little change in birefringence and a small bi-phasic change in rT. Skinned fibers were activated using a solution that has the same ionic strength as the relaxing solution and allows repeatable, and sustained activation. A decrease in both delta nT and rT was observed upon fiber activation. The decrease in delta nT and rT was slightly larger at shorter sarcomere lengths than at longer lengths. Relaxed fibers placed in rigor showed changes in delta nT and rT similar to those observed in activated fibers. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that, after activation, a significant portion of the thick filament cross-bridges rotate towards the actin filament resulting in redistribution of the interfilament mass content. They are also consistent with an average orientation of crossbridges in the overlap region different from that in the nonoverlap region. © 1989, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chen JS; Baskin RJ; Burton K; Shen S; Yeh Y
  • Start Page

  • 595
  • End Page

  • 605
  • Volume

  • 56
  • Issue

  • 3