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Transient expression of a ventricular myosin heavy chain isoform in developing chicken intrafusal muscle fibers

Abstract

Sections of chicken tibialis anterior and extensor digitorium longus muscles were incubated with monoclonal antibodies against myosin heavy chains (MHC). Ventricular myosin was present in developing secondary intrafusal myotubes when they were first recognized at embryonic days (E) 13–14, and in developing extrafusal fibers prior to that date. The reaction in intrafusal fibers began to fade at E17, and in 2-week-old postnatal and older muscles the isoform was no longer recognized. Only those intrafusal fibers which also reacted with a monoclonal antibody against atrial and slow myosin contained ventricular MHC. Intrafusal myotubes which developed into fast fibers did not express the isoform. Hence, based on the presence or absence of ventricular MHC, two lineages of intrafusal fiber are evident early in development. Strong immunostaining for ventricular MHC was observed in primary extrafusal myotubes at E10, but the isoform was already downregulated at E14, when secondary intrafusal myotubes were still forming and expressed ventricular MHC. Only light to moderate and transient immunostaining was observed in coexisting secondary extrafusal myotubes, most of which developed into fast fibers. Thus at the time when nascent muscle spindles are first recognized, differences in MHC profiles already exist between prospective intrafusal and extrafusal fibers. If intrafusal fibers stem from a pool of primordial muscle cells, which is common to intrafusal and extrafusal myotubes, they diverged from it some time prior to E13.

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This paper is dedicated to Prof. D. Pette, Konstanz, on the occasion of his 60th birthday

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Maier, A. Transient expression of a ventricular myosin heavy chain isoform in developing chicken intrafusal muscle fibers. Histochemistry 99, 333–338 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00269106

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