During embryonic development, and before functional innervation, a highly stereotypic pattern of slow- and fast-contracting primary muscle fibers is established within individual muscles of the limbs, from distinct populations of myoblasts. A difference between the fiber-type pattern found within chicken and quail pectoral muscles was exploited to investigate the contributions of somite-derived myogenic precursors and lateral plate-derived mesenchymal stroma to the establishment of muscle fiber-type patterns. Chimeric chicken/quail embryos were constructed by reciprocal transplantation of somites or lateral plate mesoderm at stages prior to muscle formation. Muscle fibers derived from quail myogenic precursors that had migrated into chicken stroma showed a quail pattern of mixed fast- and slow-contracting muscle fibers. Conversely, chicken myogenic precursors that had migrated into quail stroma showed a chicken pattern of nearly exclusive fast muscle fiber formation. These results demonstrate in vivo an intrinsic commitment to fiber-type on the part of the myoblast, independent of extrinsic signals it receives from the mesenchymal stroma in which it differentiates.
View details for Web of Science ID 000169968800011
View details for PubMedID 11493570