Myosin heavy chain profiles in regenerated fast and slow muscles innervated by the same motor nerve become nearly identical

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Plasticity of mature muscles exposed to different activation patterns is limited, probably due to restricted adaptive range of their muscle fibres. In this study, we tested whether satellite cells derived from slow muscles can give rise to a normal fast muscle, if transplanted to the fast muscle bed. Marcaine-treated rat soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles were transplanted to the EDL muscle bed and innervated by the ‘EDL’ nerve. Six months later expression of myosin heavy chain isoforms was analysed by areal densities of fibres, binding specific monoclonal antibodies, and by SDS gel electrophoresis. Both regenerated muscles closely resembled each other. Their myosin heavy chain profiles were similar to those in fast muscles although they were not identical to that in the control EDL muscle. Since not even regenerated EDL was able to reach the myosin heavy chain isoform profile of mature EDL muscle, our experimental model did not permit studying the adaptive capacity of satellite cells in different muscles in its whole extent. However, the results favour the multipotential myoblast stem cell population in rat muscles and underline the importance of the extrinsic regulation of muscle phenotype.

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