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Cell Tissue Res. 1988 May;252(2):339-48.

Biochemical and morphological differences between fibroblasts and myoblasts from embryonic chicken skeletal muscle.

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  • 1Department of Biological Structure, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Non-myogenic cells were isolated from the breast muscle of 10-day-old chicken embryos employing Percoll density centrifugation. In culture, these cells exhibited the spread out, stellate morphology of fibroblast-like cells. They also exhibited receptor-mediated binding of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). Such binding was not detected in cultures of predominantly myogenic cells isolated by the Percoll density centrifugation from the same muscle. Percoll-isolated myogenic and fibrogenic cell populations were also analyzed by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis immediately after removal from the muscle. This analysis revealed at least six polypeptides specific to the fibroblasts but not detected in the myogenic cell population. In addition, at least eight polypeptides found in the myogenic population were barely detectable, or lacking altogether from the fibroblast-like cells. Ultrastructural analysis of the freshly isolated cells demonstrated that the fibroblasts were larger than the myoblasts and that their cytoplasm contained many vesicles. We conclude that the fibrogenic and myogenic cells isolated by Percoll from embryonic muscle express cell type-specific characteristics. Moreover, based on the PDGF binding studies, the fibrogenic cells can be categorized as "true" fibroblasts.

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