Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 269, Issue 1, pp 159–166 | Cite as

Cellular differences in the regeneration of murine skeletal muscle: a quantitative histological study in SJL/J and BALB/c mice

  • Christopher A. Mitchell
  • John K. McGeachie
  • Miranda D. Grounds


Skeletal muscle regeneration in SJL/J and BALB/c mice subjected to identical crush injuries is markedly different: in SJL/J mice myotubes almost completely replace damaged myofibres, whereas BALB/c mice develop fibrotic scar tissue and few myotubes. To determine the cellular changes which contribute to these differential responses to injury, samples of crushed tibialis anterior muscles taken from SJL/J and BALB/c mice between 1 and 10 days after injury were analysed by light and electron microscopy, and by autoradiography. Longitudinal muscle sections revealed about a 2-fold greater total mononuclear cell density in SJL/J than BALB/c mice at 2 to 3 days after injury. Electron micrographs identified a similar proportion of cell types at 3 days after injury. Autoradiographic studies showed that the proportions of replicating mononuclear cells in both strains were similar: therefore greater absolute numbers of cells (including muscle precursors and macrophages) were proliferating in SJL/J muscle. Removal of necrotic muscle debris in SJL/J mice was rapid and extensive, and by 6 to 8 days multinucleated myotubes occupied a large part of the lesion. By contrast, phagocytosis was less effective in BALB/c mice, myotube formation was minimal, and fibrotic tissue conspicuous. These data indicate that the increased mononuclear cell density, more efficient removal of necrotic muscle, together with a greater capacity for myotube formation in SJL/J mice, contribute to the more successful muscle regeneration seen after injury.

Key words

Regeneration Skeletal muscle Injury Autoradiography Morphometry Electron microscopy Mouse (SJL/J BALB/c) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher A. Mitchell
    • 1
  • John K. McGeachie
    • 2
  • Miranda D. Grounds
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Queen Elizabeth II Medical CentreUniversity of Western AustraliaNedlands
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy and Human BiologyUniversity of Western AustraliaNedlands

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