The maximum activities of 6-phosphofructokinase and oxoglutarate dehydrogenase in muscle provide quantitative indices of the maximum capacities of anaerobic glycolysis and the Krebs cycle (i.e. the aerobic capacity) respectively. These activities were measured in red, white, and cardiac muscle of birds and the rat. The activities in the white pectoral muscle of the domestic fowl suggest that the Krebs cycle plus electron transfer could provide only about 1% of the rate of ATP production provided by anaerobic glycolysis whereas in pigeon pectoral muscle the predicted maximal rates from the two processes are similar. In contrast to domestic-fowl pectoral muscle, the white rat muscle, epitrochlearis, contains a significant activity of oxoglutarate dehydrogenase, which indicates that the Krebs cycle could provide about 12% of the maximum rate of ATP formation. This may be explained by a higher proportion of type-I and -IIA fibres in the rat muscle compared to the avian muscle. In the aerobic muscles of the rat the maximum activities of carnitine palmitoyl transferase indicate that fatty-acid oxidation could provide a high rate of ATP formation.

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