Samples of the extensor digitorum brevis muscle (EDB) obtained at necropsy from 26 subjects without known neuromuscular disease were examined histologically and histochemically. In the two youngest subjects, aged 2 months and 8 years, a mosaic distribution of type I and type II fibres was present. From the second decade onwards, increasing with age, the mosaic pattern was gradually replaced by groups of type I and type II fibres and areas of grouped fibre atrophy appeared. It is suggested that these findings may be explained by a slow process of denervation and reinnervation. This process does not seem to occur to the same extent in three other distal limb muscles from which specimens were also examined.
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