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Development. 2008 May;135(9):1597-604. doi: 10.1242/dev.019331. Epub 2008 Mar 26.

Different autonomous myogenic cell populations revealed by ablation of Myf5-expressing cells during mouse embryogenesis.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Parkstr. 1, 61231 Bad Nauheim, Germany.


The development of myogenic cells is mainly determined by expression of two myogenic factors, Myf5 and Myod1 (MyoD), which genetically compensate for each other during embryogenesis. Here, we demonstrate by conditional cell ablation in mice that Myf5 determines a distinct myogenic cell population, which also contains some Myod1-positive cells. Ablation of this lineage uncovers the presence of a second autonomous myogenic lineage, which superseded Myf5-dependent myogenic cells and expressed Myod1. By contrast, ablation of myogenin-expressing cells erased virtually all differentiated muscle cells, indicating that some aspects of the myogenic program are shared by most skeletal muscle cells. We conclude that Myf5 and Myod1 define different cell lineages with distinct contributions to muscle precursor cells and differentiated myotubes. Individual myogenic cell lineages seem to substitute for each other within the developing embryo.

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