Skeletal Muscle and Peripheral Nerves

  • Margaret M. Esiri


Striated muscle develops from embryonic mesenchyme. Some head and neck muscles are derived from branchial mesenchyme, limb muscles from the condensation of somatic mesenchyme which forms the limb buds, and trunk muscles from the segmented paraxial myotomes. The primordia of most muscles are defined by the end of the 8th week of gestation. At this stage they are composed of groups of myotubes—multinucleate syncytia containing central chains of nuclei surrounded by peripheral basophilic cytoplasm. Myotubes are formed by fusion of myoblasts, their mitotically active predecessors. A few myoblasts remain when the myotubes are formed and these are thought to give rise eventually to the satellite cells which lie alongside the mature muscle fibres and provide a source of myoblastic stem cells from which myonuclei are derived when required for hypertrophic growth or regeneration. Satellite cells can only be identified with certainty by electron microscopy. They are more common in young than adult muscle, their nuclei contributing between 2% and 10% of total muscle nuclei (Landon 1982).


Muscular Dystrophy Motor Neurone Mitochondrial Myopathy Serum Creatine Kinase Level Congenital Muscular Dystrophy 
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  • Margaret M. Esiri

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