Cells that express MyoD mRNA in the epiblast are stably committed to the skeletal muscle lineage
The epiblast of the chick embryo contains cells that express MyoD mRNA but not MyoD protein. We investigated whether MyoD-positive (MyoDpos) epiblast cells are stably committed to the skeletal muscle lineage or whether their fate can be altered in different environments. A small number of MyoD pos epiblast cells were tracked into the heart and nervous system. In these locations, they expressed MyoD mRNA and some synthesized MyoD protein. No MyoDpos epiblast cells differentiated into cardiac muscle or neurons. Similar results were obtained when MyoDpos cells were isolated from the epiblast and microinjected into the precardiac mesoderm or neural plate. In contrast, epiblast cells lacking MyoD differentiated according to their environment. These results demonstrate that the epiblast contains both multipotent cells and a subpopulation of cells that are stably committed to the skeletal muscle lineage before the onset of gastrulation. Stable programming in the epiblast may ensure that MyoDpos cells express similar signaling molecules in a variety of environments.
Journal of Cell Biology
Gerhart, Jacquelyn; Neely, C.; Elder, J.; Pfautz, J.; Perlman, J.; Narciso, L.; Linask, K.; Knudsen, K.; and George-Weinstein, Mindy, "Cells that express MyoD mRNA in the epiblast are stably committed to the skeletal muscle lineage" (2007). PCOM Scholarly Papers. 1665.