In Vitro and in Vivo Expression of Alpha 7 Integrin and Desmin Define the Primary and Secondary Myogenic Lineages

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Skeletal muscle fibers form during two periods of development and differ biochemically, functionally and in their morphology. Primary fibers develop in the rat hindlimb during Days 14 to 16 of embryogenesis. These fibers are subsequently surrounded by secondary fibers that eventually constitute the bulk of muscle mass in the limbs. We have used the expression of the alpha 7 muscle laminin binding integrin (Song et al., J. Cell Biol. 117, 643-657, 1992) and the intermediate filament protein desmin to identify myogenic cells at distinct stages of development both in vitro and in vivo. The phenotypes of these cells, determined by immunofluorescence microscopy, discriminate two lineages and indicate that the development of primary and secondary muscle fibers is regulated by multiple mechanisms. The cells which compose the primary myogenic lineage are derived from a population of precursor cells that is in part present in the Day 12 embryo limb bud and which do not express either alpha 7 integrin or desmin. These precursor cells develop into cells that express desmin, but not alpha 7, and which subsequently mature into replicating myoblasts that are competent to undergo terminal differentiation. This maturation process requires the in vivo environment of the Day 13 embryo limb. The alpha 7 integrin and slow myosin heavy chain are first expressed in primary muscle cells well after the onset of terminal differentiation. Some cells that give rise to secondary muscle fibers also are present in the Day 12 embryo hindlimb. The precursors of secondary fibers will develop into cells which express either alpha 7 integrin or desmin and subsequently into replicating myoblasts that express both proteins. Upon terminal differentiation of secondary myoblasts there is an increase in the expression of both alpha 7 integrin and desmin. The temporal regulation of expression of these proteins indicates that the environment of the limb plays a role in the maturation of precursors of both lineages. At least two roles of alpha 7 integrin during myogenesis are related to its association with beta 1 integrin and its function as a laminin receptor. Laminin selectively maintains the proliferation of secondary myoblasts and modulates their shape and mobility in vitro. This responsiveness of secondary myoblasts to laminin corresponds to the time when laminin is a major component of the extracellular matrix, when there is an expansion of the population of secondary myoblasts, and when the alpha 7 integrin is expressed on secondary myoblasts in vivo.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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Developmental Biology





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This article was published in Developmental Biology, Volume 156, Issue 1, Pages 209-229.

The published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/S0012160683710717.

Copyright © 1993.

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