Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Anat Embryol (Berl). 1998 Jun;197(6):485-96.

Patterns of superficial fibre formation in the European pearlfish (Rutilus frisii meidingeri) provide a general template for slow muscle development in teleost fish.

Author information

University of Salzburg, Institute of Zoology, Austria.


The debate about the pattern of muscle formation in teleost fish has recently been heightened in the literature. Here we examine superficial muscle development in the pearlfish, a cyprinid endemic to a small area of Central Europe, and uninfluenced by economic interest and breeding. Using light and electron microscopy, histochemistry and immunohistochemistry techniques, we report that: (1) Superficial fibre precursors originate close to the notochord, are part of the same cell population as the so-called muscle pioneer cells, and are transferred laterally to end up at the surface of the myotome. (2) Superficial fibre maturation is exceptionally rapid. Structural and enzymatic functionality is attained at a time when prospective deep fibres have not passed beyond the early myotube state. This strong contrast weakens as the embryo develops. (3) Apart from the muscle pioneers, the superficial fibres appear to be capable of functioning before they receive any direct innervation, implying that signals are transferred to these fibres via cell-to-cell junctions. We suggest that the capability of rapid superficial fibre maturation is a rather general feature among teleosts and may aid pre-hatch survival under a variable environment. Our results indicate that muscle formation in teleost fish may follow a common basic pattern that is open to considerable ontogenetic and phylogenetic modification in response to habitat conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center