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Dev Genes Evol. 2015 Jun;225(3):139-48. doi: 10.1007/s00427-015-0501-8. Epub 2015 May 13.

Expression profile of IGF-I-calcineurin-NFATc3-dependent pathway genes in skeletal muscle during early development between duck breeds differing in growth rates.

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Key Laboratory for Poultry Genetics and Breeding of Jiangsu Province, Institute of Poultry Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Yangzhou, 225125, China.


The insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I)-calcineurin (CaN)-NFATc signaling pathways have been implicated in the regulation of myocyte hypertrophy and fiber-type specificity. In the present study, the expression of the CnAα, NFATc3, and IGF-I genes was quantified by RT-PCR for the first time in the breast muscle (BM) and leg muscle (LM) on days 13, 17, 21, 25, and 27 of embryonic development, as well as at 7 days posthatching (PH), in Gaoyou and Jinding ducks, which differ in their muscle growth rates. Consistent expression patterns of CnAα, NFATc3, and IGF-I were found in the same anatomical location at different development stages in both duck breeds, showing significant differences in an age-specific fashion. However, the three genes were differentially expressed in the two different anatomical locations (BM and LM). CnAα, NFATc3, and IGF-I messenger RNA (mRNA) could be detected as early as embryonic day 13 (ED13), and the highest level appeared at this stage in both BM and LM. Significant positive relationships were observed in the expression of the studied genes in the BM and LM of both duck breeds. Also, the expression of these three genes showed a positive relationship with the percentage of type IIb fibers and a negative relationship with the percentage of type I fibers and type IIa fibers. Our data indicate differential expression and coordinated developmental regulation of the selected genes involved in the IGF-I-calcineurin-NFATc3 pathway in duck skeletal muscle during embryonic and early PH growth and development; these data also indicate that this signaling pathway might play a role in the regulation of myofiber type transition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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