The correlation between histochemical properties of muscle fibers and the pattern of innervation by the two motor neurons was studied in the asymmetric claw closer muscles of the lobster. The closer muscle of the cutter claw is composed of 65 percent fast muscle fibers and 35 percent slow muscle fibers, whereas that in the crusher claw has all slow muscle fibers. In both claws, myofibrillar adenosinetriphosphatase activity was independent of the pattern of innervation. Oxidative capacity, as measured by reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide activity, was correlated with motor axon presence: Muscle fibers innervated solely by the "fast" motor axon had low oxidative capacity, muscle fibers receiving only the slow motor axon had very high oxidative capacity, and fibers innervated by both axons had intermediate properties. The data suggest that the motor neurons may exert trophic influences that control certain muscle fiber properties but not others.
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