Skeletal muscle fibre-type shifting and metabolic profile in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Academic Article uri icon


  • The aim of this study was to examine the nature of fibre-type redistribution in relation to fibre metabolic profile in the vastus lateralis in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and COPD subtypes. Fifteen COPD patients (eight with emphysema stratified by high-resolution computed tomography) and 15 healthy control subjects were studied. A combination of myofibrillar adenosine triphosphatase staining and immunohistochemistry was used to identify pure, as well as hybrid fibre types. For oxidative capacity, fibres were stained for cytochrome c oxidase and succinate dehydrogenase activities, and glycogen phosphorylase for glycolytic capacity. The proportion of type-I fibres in COPD patients was markedly lower (16% versus 42%), especially in emphysema, and the proportion of hybrid fibres was higher (29% versus 16%) compared to controls. The proportion of fibres staining positive for oxidative enzymes was lower in COPD patients, which correlated with the proportion of type-I fibres. In COPD oxidative capacity was lower within IIA fibres. The authors conclude that fibre-type transitions are involved in the fibre-type redistribution in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Low oxidative capacity is closely related to the proportion of type-I fibres, but an additional reduction of oxidative enzyme activity is present within IIA fibres. Fibre-type abnormalities may be aggravated in emphysema.

published proceedings

  • Eur Respir J

author list (cited authors)

  • Gosker, H. R., van Mameren, H., van Dijk, P. J., Engelen, M., van der Vusse, G. J., Wouters, E., & Schols, A.

citation count

  • 206

complete list of authors

  • Gosker, HR||van Mameren, H||van Dijk, PJ||Engelen, MPKJ||van der Vusse, GJ||Wouters, EFM||Schols, AMWJ

publication date

  • April 2002