Individual limb muscle bundles are formed through progressive steps orchestrated by adjacent connective tissue cells during primary myogenesis

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Although the factors regulating muscle cell differentiation are well described, we know very little about how differentiating muscle fibers are organized into individual muscle tissue bundles. Disruption of these processes leads to muscle hypoplasia or dysplasia, and replicating these events is vital in tissue engineering approaches. We describe the progressive cellular events that orchestrate the formation of individual limb muscle bundles and directly demonstrate the role of the connective tissue cells that surround muscle precursors in controlling these events. We show how disruption of gene activity within or genetic ablation of connective tissue cells impacts muscle precursors causing disruption of muscle bundle formation and subsequent muscle dysplasia and hypoplasia. We identify several markers of the populations of connective tissue cells that surround muscle precursors and provide a model for how matrix-modifying proteoglycans secreted by these cells may influence muscle bundle formation by effects on the local extracellular matrix (ECM) environment.

Journal details

Journal Cell Reports
Volume 30
Issue number 10
Pages 3552-3565.e6
Publication date

Crick authors

Crick First author
Crick Corresponding author