Endocranial and masticatory muscle volumes in myostatin-deficient mice
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Structural and functional trade-offs are integral to the evolution of the mammalian skull and its development. This paper examines the potential for enlargement of the masticatory musculature to limit the size of the endocranial cavity by studying a myostatin-deficient mouse model of hypermuscularity (MSTN−/−). The study tests the null prediction that the larger MSTN−/−mice have larger brains compared with wild-type (WT) mice in order to service the larger muscles. Eleven post-mortem MSTN−/−mice and 12 WT mice were imaged at high resolution using contrast enhanced micro-CT. Masticatory muscle volumes (temporalis, masseter, internal and external pterygoids) and endocranial volumes were measured on the basis of two-dimensional manual tracings and the Cavalieri principle.
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