In each one of the four neuromuscular compartments (NMC) of the biceps femoris muscle (BF), called BR1, BR2, BR3, BR4, the following parameters were determined: capillary density (CD), fiber density (FD), capillaries per fiber ratio (CFR) and capillary index diffusion (CID) by using an endothelial specific lectin. There were significant differences in the following: CD (BR3 > BR1), CFR (BR1< BR3=BR4), CID (BR2>BR3). There were no significant differences for FD among the NMCs. The relationship between meat quality and muscle characteristics needs a good understanding of muscle biology; therefore the study of the compartments of muscle is necessary to unify the sampling of muscle. The CID could result a useful tool as a preliminary alternative for determining the heterogeneity of muscle architecture.
anatomy, neuromuscular compartment, muscle fiber, capillaries, biceps femoris, meat quality, pig.