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Relationships between structural characteristics of bovine intramuscular connective tissue assessed by image analysis and collagen and proteoglycan content

Abstract : Three muscles (Longissimus thoracis, Semimembranosus, Biceps femoris) of 40 young bulls from 3 breeds were used to quantify structural characteristics of bovine connective tissue by image analysis, with both macroscopic and microscopic approaches. Collagen and proteoglycan content was also investigated. Perimysium occupied a greater area (8 vs 6%), and was wider (42 vs 2 mu m) and shorter per unit area (1.9 vs 30 mm mm(-2)) than endomysium. Perimysium and endomysium from Longissimus were thinner, less ramified than in Biceps. Longissimus showed less total collagen and cross-linking and more proteoglycans (P<0.0001) than Biceps muscle. Blond d'Aquitaine perimysium occupied less area, was more ramified and muscles contained less collagen, cross-linking and more proteoglycans than Angus (P<0.001). Limousin was intermediate. High proteoglycan content in muscle containing less total collagen suggested a complementarity between these molecules. They might influence mechanical properties of intramuscular connective tissue. This was especially true given that proteoglycans and total collagen were negatively and positively linked with structural parameters, respectively.
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Annabelle Dubost, Didier Micol, Bruno Meunier, Claire Lethias, Anne Listrat. Relationships between structural characteristics of bovine intramuscular connective tissue assessed by image analysis and collagen and proteoglycan content. Meat Science, Elsevier, 2013, 93 (3), pp.378-386. ⟨10.1016/j.meatsci.2012.09.020⟩. ⟨hal-02647008⟩

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