Journal of Muscle Research & Cell Motility

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 619–628 | Cite as

Expression of myosin heavy chain and of myogenic regulatory factor genes in fast or slow rabbit muscle satellite cell cultures

  • Catherine Barjot
  • Marie-Laurence Cotten
  • Christiane Goblet
  • Robert G. Whalen
  • Francis Bacou


We investigated the myogenic properties of rabbit fast or slow muscle satellite cells during their differentiation in culture, with a particular attention to the expression of myosin heavy chain and myogenic regulatory factor genes. Satellite cells were isolated from Semimembranosus proprius (slow-twitch muscle; 100% type I fibres) and Semimembranosus accessorius (fast-twitch muscle; almost 100% type II fibres) muscles of 3-month-old rabbits. Satellite cells in culture possess different behaviours according to their origin. Cells isolated from slow muscle proliferate faster, fuse earlier into more numerous myotubes and mature more rapidly into striated contractile fibres than do cells isolated from fast muscle. This pattern of proliferation and differentiation is also seen in the expression of myogenic regulatory factor genes. Myf5 is detected in both fast or slow 6-day-old cell cultures, when satellite cells are in the exponential stage of proliferation. MyoD and myogenin are subsequently detected in slow satellite cell cultures, but their expression in fast cell cultures is delayed by 2 and 4 days respectively. MRF4 is detected in both types of cultures when they contain striated and contractile myofibres. Muscle-specific myosin heavy chains are expressed earlier in slow satellite cell cultures. No adult myosin heavy chain isoforms are detected in fast cell cultures for 13 days, whereas cultures from slow cells express neonatal, adult slow and adult fast myosin heavy chain isoforms at that time. In both fast and slow satellite cell cultures containing striated contractile fibres, neonatal and adult myosin heavy chain isoforms are coexpressed. However, cultures made from satellite cells derived from slow muscles express the slow myosin heavy chain isoform, in addition to the neonatal and the fast isoforms. These results are further supported by the expression of the mRNA encoding the adult myosin heavy chain isoforms. These data provide further evidence for the existence of satellite cell diversity between two rabbit muscles of different fibre-type composition, and also suggest the existence of differently preprogrammed satellite cells.


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Barjot
    • 1
  • Marie-Laurence Cotten
    • 1
  • Christiane Goblet
    • 2
  • Robert G. Whalen
    • 2
  • Francis Bacou
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Différenciation Cellulaire et CroissanceInstitut National de la Recherche AgronomiqueMontpellier Cedex 1
  2. 2.Département de Biologie MoléculaireInstitut PasteurParisFrance

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