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Skeletal muscle satellite cells.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.
2
U WI, Madison

Abstract

Evidence now suggests that satellite cells constitute a class of myogenic cells that differ distinctly from other embryonic myoblasts. Satellite cells arise from somites and first appear as a distinct myoblast type well before birth. Satellite cells from different muscles cannot be functionally distinguished from one another and are able to provide nuclei to all fibers without regard to phenotype. Thus, it is difficult to ascribe any significant function to establishing or stabilizing fiber type, even during regeneration. Within a muscle, satellite cells exhibit marked heterogeneity with respect to their proliferative behavior. The satellite cell population on a fiber can be partitioned into those that function as stem cells and those which are readily available for fusion. Recent studies have shown that the cells are not simply spindle shaped, but are very diverse in their morphology and have multiple branches emanating from the poles of the cells. This finding is consistent with other studies indicating that the cells have the capacity for extensive migration within, and perhaps between, muscles. Complexity of cell shape usually reflects increased cytoplasmic volume and organelles including a well developed Golgi, and is usually associated with growing postnatal muscle or muscles undergoing some form of induced adaptive change or repair. The appearance of activated satellite cells suggests some function of the cells in the adaptive process through elaboration and secretion of a product. Significant advances have been made in determining the potential secretion products that satellite cells make. The manner in which satellite cell proliferative and fusion behavior is controlled has also been studied. There seems to be little doubt that cellcell coupling is not how satellite cells and myofibers communicate. Rather satellite cell regulation is through a number of potential growth factors that arise from a number of sources. Critical to the understanding of this form of control is to determine which of the many growth factors that can alter satellite cell behavior in vitro are at work in vivo. Little work has been done to determine what controls are at work after a regeneration response has been initiated. It seems likely that, after injury, growth factors are liberated through proteolytic activity and initiate an activation process whereby cells enter into a proliferative phase. After myofibers are formed, it also seems likely that satellite cell behavior is regulated through diffusible factors arising from the fibers rather than continuous control by circulating factors.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

PMID:
8209136
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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