To understand how and when myogenic precursor cells become committed to their particular developmental programs, we have analysed the different populations of myoblasts which grow out from explants of muscle tissue isolated from human limb buds from the beginning of primary fibre formation throughout subsequent development and post-natal growth. Four phenotypically distinct types of myoblasts were identified on the basis of their expression of desmin, myogenin and myosin heavy chain isoforms (MyHC), and after 5 and 20 divisions, cells were cloned. All four types of myoblasts were present at the beginning of primary myogenesis. Each respective phenotype was stably heritable through cloning and subsequent proliferation. The type 1 clones correspond to a novel class of myoblasts never described during human development, that biochemically differentiates, but does not fuse. Type 2 clones are composed of small myotubes expressing only embryonic MyHC. Type 3 clones are composed of thin and long myotubes expressing both embryonic and fetal MyHCs. The type 4 clones are composed of myotubes that have a phenotype very similar to human satellite cells. Contrasting with others species, no other population of myoblasts appear during fetal development and only the relative number of these four types changes.
The four populations of myoblasts involved in human limb muscle formation are present from the onset of primary myotube formation
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F. Edom-Vovard, V. Mouly, J.P. Barbet, G.S. Butler-Browne; The four populations of myoblasts involved in human limb muscle formation are present from the onset of primary myotube formation. J Cell Sci 15 January 1999; 112 (2): 191–199. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.112.2.191
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