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Can muscle cells increase in number?


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I know this has been touched on here before, but I don't have time to search ...

During a discussion on apoptosis today my biology lecturer used bodybuilders who have stopped training as an example of when the body would decrease the number of cells it uses to maintain itself. This of course led to the question of whether they'd increased the number in the first place - and she stated that the NUMBER of cells can increase. I was under the impression that only the SIZE could increase, not number. She elaborated by saying that a trainee in the early stages of training would increase cell number, and as they became more advanced, just the size.

I think Realgains stated at one point that gear users could increase muscle cell number, but this is not true for naturals, is it?

Is hyperplasia a DISORDER?
"Skeletal muscle enlargement in adult animals has been ascribed primarily to changes in fiber cross-sectional area (i.e., fiber
hypertrophy); however, recent evidence from several laboratories suggests strongly that fiber hyperplasia contributes to muscle mass
increases in adult animals and possibly human athletes. Scientists have used three models to study the cellular mechanisms of muscle
enlargement: compensatory hypertrophy, stretch, and exercise. Each of these models has provided direct as well as indirect evidence
supporting the occurrence of muscle fiber hyperplasia. Direct counts of muscle fibers using nitric acid digestion techniques have shown
that both exercise and stretch overload result in significant increases (range = 9-52%) in fiber number. Indirect fiber counts using
histological cross-sections have suggested fiber hyperplasia (range = 10-82%) in all three models. Additionally, the expression of
embryonic myosin isoforms have provided indirect evidence for new fiber formation in stretch overloaded muscle. Furthermore,
satellite cells have been shown to be involved in muscle fiber hyperplasia in stretch and exercise."
I have thought that for years....studies in birds show that a stretch position directly leads to cell splitting
Let's just say I find the evidence compelling that YES hyperplasia can ocurr in natty adults with the right stimulus. How significant or biologically relevant this is for bodybuilders is anybody's guess.

Look at Ronnie Coleman - that should tell you the answer to that Ranger
The bio teacher is probably referring to increase in myonuclei number, not new fiber formation. Sure there is satellite cell proliferation and that occurs to maintain the cytoplasmic to myonuclei ratio, but that is still hypertrophy. There may be fiber splitting that could be interpreted as new fibers.

Avian but not mammalian models suggest hyperplasia.

It may happen in humans, but I really doubt it happens in the nattys.

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