The role of myonuclei in muscle regeneration: An in vitro study

William E. Pullman, George C.T. Yeoh

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    It is well established that during muscle regeneration, the satellite cells which are in a state of mitotic arrest, can initiate cell division to produce myoblasts which subsequently fuse to form myotubes. However, whether myonuclei, contained within damaged myotubes, or “freed” as a result of the trauma, play any role in muscle regeneration remains unresolved. In myogenic cultures, it is possible to obtain renewed myogenesis when initial cultures are sub‐cultured. The aim of this study, was to obtain evidence of the participation by myonuclei of primary cultures in myogenesis which occurs subsequently in secondary cultures. In culture, myonuclei can be labelled with H3‐thymidine and their ultimate fate, either as “free” myonuclei or myonuclei associated with disrupted myotubes can be followed unequivocally. Three types of experiments are performed: (i) Primary myogenic cultures containing only myotubes are subcultured. (ii) Primary myogenic cultures containing myotubes with labelled myonuclei are disrupted and subcultured. (iii) Primary myogenic cultures containing myotubes with unlabelled myonuclei are mixed with labelled mononucleated myogenic cells and sub‐cultured. In all instances no evidence of myogenesis from myonuclei is obtained. It is concluded that myonuclei, which were rendered postmitotic during myogenesis, remain so when muscle is disrupted and cannot re‐enter the mitotic cycle.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245-251
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1978


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