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Altered Primary and Secondary Myogenesis in the Myostatin-Null Mouse

Matsakas, Antonios; Otto, Anthony; Elashry, Mohamed I.; Brown, Susan C.; Patel, Ketan


Antonios Matsakas

Anthony Otto

Mohamed I. Elashry

Susan C. Brown

Ketan Patel


Skeletal muscle fiber generation occurs principally in two myogenic phases: (1) Primary (embryonic) myogenesis when myoblasts proliferate and fuse to form primary myotubes and (2) secondary (fetal) myogenesis when successive waves of myoblasts fuse along the surface of the primary myotubes, giving rise to a population of smaller and more numerous secondary myotubes. This sequence of events determines fiber number and is completed at or soon after birth in most muscles of the mouse. The adult myostatin null mouse (MSTN(-/-)) displays both an increase in fiber number and size relative to wild type (MSTN(+/+)), suggesting a developmental origin for the hypermuscular phenotype. The focus of the present study was to determine at which point during myogenesis do MSTN(-/-) animals diverge from MSTN(+/+). To achieve this, we focused on the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle and evaluated primary myotube number at embryonic day (E) 13.0 and E14.5 and secondary to primary myotube ratios at E18.5. We show that primary myotube number and size were significantly increased in the MSTN(-/-) mice by E14.5 and the secondary to primary myotube ratio increased at E18.5. This increase in the rate of fiber formation resulted in MSTN(-/-) mice harboring 87% of their final adult fiber number at E18.5, compared to only 73% in MSTN(+/+). An accelerated myogenic program in the MSTN(-/-) mice was further confirmed by our finding of an initial expansion in the myogenic stem cell (identified through Pax7 expression) and myoblast (identified through myogenin expression) cell pools at E14.5 in the EDL muscle of these animals that was, however, followed by a reduction of both populations of cells at E18.5 relative to MSTN(+/+). Overall these data suggest that the genetic loss of myostatin accelerates the developmental myogenic program of primary and secondary skeletal myogenesis.


Matsakas, A., Otto, A., Elashry, M. I., Brown, S. C., & Patel, K. (2010). Altered Primary and Secondary Myogenesis in the Myostatin-Null Mouse. Rejuvenation Research, 13(6), 717-727.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 31, 2010
Online Publication Date Jan 12, 2011
Publication Date Dec 31, 2010
Journal Rejuvenation research
Print ISSN 1557-8577
Electronic ISSN 1557-8577
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 6
Pages 717-727
Public URL
PMID 21204650