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Folia Biol (Krakow). 2011;59(3-4):85-90.

Myogenesis--possibilities of its stimulation in chickens.

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  • 1Department of Animal Biotechnology, Division of Animal Histology, University of Technology and Life Sciences, Mazowiecka 28, 85-084 Bydgoszcz, Poland.


Due to selection for increased body weight modern broilers are 3-4 times heavier as compared with chickens of the laying type. The muscle mass is mainly determined by the total number of muscle fibres (hyperplasia), their thickness (hypertrophy) and different fibre types. Hyperplasia occurs during either embryogenesis or the early posthatching period. Skeletal muscles originate from the dermatomyotome, which differentiates into four myogenic cell populations: myotomal cells, embryonic myoblasts, fetal myoblasts and satellite cells; the latter are the adult myoblasts, present within adult skeletal muscles to serve as a cell source for both muscle regeneration and self-renewal. Pax3 keeps migrated precursor cells non-differentiated, thereby controlling transcription of the MyoD gene, whereas Pax7 is a significant regulator of the satellite cell population. Manipulation of temperature and light quality and quantity have been proposed as methods of both pre- and postnatal myogenesis stimulation. Being thermogenic stimulants, both thyroid and adrenal hormones substantially stimulate metabolism. Short-term exposure of embryos to increased temperature between days 16 and 18 of incubation directly influences the proliferation and differentiation of muscle fibres, which manifest themselves in increased hyperplasia. Ultraviolet radiation is an effective means for disinfection of hatching eggs, resulting in a change of embryonic mortality rate during breeding. Especially, green light influences both body weight and the satellite cell number in the first days posthatch, thereby enhancing the growth of embryos, and causing a significant increase in both muscle and body weight. In ovo green stimulation probably enhances the proliferation and differentiation of myoblasts, subsequently causing an increase in muscle weight. The present paper highlights the possibilities of enhancing growth and development of skeletal muscles in birds by manipulation of many aspects of their regulation, thereby contributing to a further increase in production efficiency.

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