Quantitative analysis of regional variability in the distribution of transverse tubules in rabbit myocardium

James G. Tidball, Jane E. Cederdahl, Donald M Bers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The goal of the present investigation was to compare quantitatively the distribution of T-tubules between regions of the myocardium. The volume fraction and surface density of T-tubules in rabbit right atrial free wall, left atrial free wall, right ventricular free wall, left ventricular free wall, right ventricular papillary muscle, and left ventricular papillary muscle were measured using established, electron-microscopic, morphometric techniques. T-tubules were delineated using wheat-germ agglutinin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase as a tracer. No significant differences were found in the morphometric parameters between any two ventricular samples or between atrial samples. Furthermore, little difference between T-tubule volume fraction or surface density was found between individual animals for any given site. Both volume fraction and surface density of ventricular T-tubules were more than ten-times their values in atrial tissue (volume fraction: 3.43%±0.35 vs. 0.20±0.09; surface density: 2.46 μm2/μm3±0.11 vs 0.10±0.04). Measurements show that there is greater variation of T-tubule volume fraction and surface density within atrial samples than within ventricular samples. This suggests greater inhomogeneity in T-tubule distribution in atrial myocardium than in ventricular myocardium. Morphometric data also indicate that the mean diameter of atrial T-tubules is greater than that of ventricular T-tubules while qualitative observations show that atrial T-tubules are distributed less regularly and have a larger longitudinal component to their organization than those in the ventricular myocardium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-298
Number of pages6
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1991


  • Electron microscopy
  • Morphometry
  • Muscle, cardiac
  • Rabbit (Lagomorpha)
  • Transverse (T-) tubules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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