The origin of syncytial muscle fibres in the myotomes of Xenopus laevis ? a revision
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During the early stages of myogenesis in X. laevis, the primary myoblasts (of mesodermal origin) differentiate simultaneously, in each myotome, into mononucleate myotubes. At later stages mesenchymal cells appear in intermyotomal fissures and then in the myotomes between myotubes and contribute to the formation of syncytial muscle fibres. The pathway of mesenchymals cell during myogenesis was described in X. laevis by monitoring the incorporation of 3H-thymidine. 3H-thymidine was incorporated in the nuclei of mesenchymal cells in intermyotomal fissures of younger myotomes and then in those of older myotomes between the myotubes revealing the proliferation of mesenchymal cells. As expected, nuclei of differentiating mononucleate myotubes did not incorporate 3H-thymidine. At later stages of myogenesis the myotubes were found to contain two classes of nuclei: large nuclei of the primary myoblasts (of myotomal origin) and smaller nuclei originating from secondary myoblasts of mesenchymal origin. TEM and autoradiographic analyses confirm that mulinucleate myotubes in X. laevis arise through fusion of secondary myoblasts with mononucleate myotubes.
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Malgorzata Daczewska, Department of General Zoology, Zoological Institute, University of Wroclaw, Sienkiewicza 21, 53-335 Wroclaw, Poland