The total amount of collagen, the relative distributions of types I and III collagens in perimysium and endomysium, and the collagen fiber architecture were compared among the pectoralis (PT), iliotibialis lateralis (ITL) and puboischiofemoralis (PIF) muscles in Silky cocks. All of the myofibers in the PT muscle were type IIB, the myofibers in the ITL muscle were divided into type IIA, 41.7% and IIB, 58.3%, and the PIF muscle was composed of type I, 24.6%; IIA, 64.6%; and transitional, 10.8%. The total amount of collagen differed significantly among the PT (2.92 mg/g), PIF (4.20 mg/g) and ITL (8.06 mg/g) material, where only the PIF was a whole muscle with epimysium. On the image analysis of the immunohistochemical preparations, the percentage area of perimysial collagen to the total area in each type differed significantly among the PIF, PT and ITL muscles, where it was 26.8, 50.0 and 74.4% for the type I collagen and 27.4, 32.9 and 61.7% for the type III collagen, respectively. In the scanning electron micrography of the perimysium in macerated preparations, thick bundles of collagen fibers were observed in the ITL muscle, thinner but broad platelets in the PT muscle, and a coarse tissue of thinner collagen fibers in the PIF muscle. However, the endomysial fabric of collagen fibrils was similar among the muscles. Small, transverse collagen fibers, which branched off from the thicker perimysia, occupied narrow interendomysial spaces and separated the primary myofiber fasciculi. The results indicate that the ITL muscle, localized in the distorted and overextended part of the leg and subject to strong external forces, had highly developed perimysial collagen fiber bundles, but the ITL endomysial collagen architecture was similar to that of the PT and PIF muscles.
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