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Dev Biol. 1992 Jun;151(2):459-72.

Regional injury and the terminal differentiation of satellite cells in stretched avian slow tonic muscle.

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Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235.


In the avian stretch model, the application of a weight overload to the humerus induces enlargement of the anterior latissimus dorsi (ALD) muscle and an increase in muscle fiber number which is accompanied by satellite cell activation. Myofiber injury may be an important stimulus to muscle fiber hyperplasia; therefore, light and electron microscopic evaluation was undertaken to determine if myofiber injury occurs in the stretch-enlarged ALD muscle of the adult quail. Autoradiographic studies were used to determine the terminal differentiation of labeled myogenic cells. A weight equal to 10% of body mass was attached to one wing of 27 adult quail and 3 birds were euthanized at 9 intervals of stretch, from 1 to 30 days. Birds were injected with tritiated thymidine at intervals ranging from 1 hr to 3 days prior to euthanization. Labeled nuclei were detected by light microscopic examination and identified by electron microscopy of a serial section. Three regions of the muscle were examined for disorganization of contractile elements, presence of cytoplasmic vacuoles, and/or phagocytic cell infiltration. The percentage of fibers exhibiting one or more of these criterion was significantly greater in the stretched ALD by Days 5 and 7 and declined at Day 10, reaching near control values by Day 14. Myofiber necrosis and phagocytic cell infiltration were only observed in the middle and distal regions of the stretched ALD muscle. Traditional signs of regeneration and repair were observed, including clusters of labeled myoblast-like cells and myotube formation within an existing basal lamina. New myotube formation with labeled central nuclei was also noted in the interstitial space, outside of basal lamina of persisting fibers. Labeled myonuclei were observed in the stretched fibers. These results demonstrate that chronic stretch produces regional injury and fiber degeneration and resultant regeneration in the ALD muscle of the adult quail. This may be an important stimulus for new fiber formation in this model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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