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Exp Cell Res. 1998 Sep 15;243(2):241-53.

MyoD, myogenin, and desmin-nls-lacZ transgene emphasize the distinct patterns of satellite cell activation in growth and regeneration.

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Faculté des Sciences et des Techniques, Université de Nantes, Nantes Cedex 03, 44322, France.


Although satellite cell differentiation is involved in postnatal myogenesis from growth to posttrauma regeneration, the early stages of this process remain unclear. This study investigated pHuDes-nls-lacZ transgene activity, as revealed by X-gal staining and the accumulation of MyoD, myogenin, endogenous desmin, and myosin, in order to determine whether satellite cells share the same activation program during growth and regeneration. After birth, skeletal myonuclei in which myogenin expression was limited were briefly characterized by transgene activity. Satellite cells were only evidenced by MyoD and slow myosin accumulation, but failed to initiate transgene expression. After freeze trauma, satellite cell activation led to MyoD, myogenin, and desmin expression. Subsequently, when myosin expression occurred, transgene activation was apparent in regenerating structures, with more intense X-gal staining in mononucleated cells than regenerating myotubes. After the second week posttrauma, only desmin and myogenin expression were maintained in regenerating structures. In culture, the behavior of satellite cells showed that desmin expression was committed before transgene activation occurred, i.e., concurrently with MyoD, myogenin, myosin expression, and the first fusion events. Quantitative analysis confirmed the discrepancy between endogenous desmin and transgene expression and demonstrated the close correlation between transgene activation and the fusion index. Our results strongly suggest that satellite cells promote distinct pathways of myogenic response during growth and regeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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