Developing laryngeal muscle of Xenopus laevis as a model system: androgen-driven myogenesis controls fiber type transformation. Academic Article uri icon


  • The developmental programs that contribute to myogenic stem cell proliferation and muscle fiber differentiation control fiber numbers and twitch type. In this study, we describe the use of an experimental model system-androgen-regulated laryngeal muscle of juvenile clawed frogs, Xenopus laevis-to examine the contribution of proliferation by specific populations of myogenic stem cells to expression of the larynx-specific myosin heavy chain isoform, LM. Androgen treatment of juveniles (Stage PM0) resulted in upregulation of an early (Myf-5) and a late (myogenin) myogenic regulatory factor; the time course of LM upregulation tracked that of myogenin. Myogenic stem cells stimulated to proliferate by androgen include a population that expresses Pax-7, a marker for the satellite cell myogenic stem cell population. Since androgen can switch muscle fiber types from fast to slow even in denervated larynges, we developed an ex vivo culture system to explore the relation between proliferation and LM expression. Cultured whole larynges maintain sensitivity to androgen, increasing in size and LM expression. Blockade of cell proliferation with cis-platin prevents the switch from slow to fast twitch muscle fibers as assayed by ATPase activity. Blockade of cell proliferation in vivo also resulted in inhibition of LM expression. Thus, both in vivo and ex vivo, inhibition of myogenic stem cell proliferation blocks androgen-induced LM expression and fiber type switching in juveniles.

publication date

  • April 2012