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Differentiation 2000 Dec 01;664-5:227-38.
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Larval-to-adult conversion of a myogenic system in the frog, Xenopus laevis, by larval-type myoblast-specific control of cell division, cell differentiation, and programmed cell death by triiodo-L-thyronine.

Shibota Y , Kaneko Y , Kuroda M , Nishikawa A .

For the clarification of larval-to-adult muscle conversion, the authors established primary culture methods for adult- and larval-type myoblasts in the frog, Xenopus laevis, and examined the hormonal response in each case. The cell types were enzymatically dissociated from adult frog leg and tadpole tail muscles, respectively. The cells became attached to culture plates, proliferated, and fused with each other to form multinucleated myotubes within one week. Five significant differences between the two cell types were noted. (1) Adult cells showed greater proliferation activity than larval cells, the former increasing 5.5-fold over 6 days while the latter increase only 2.5-fold. (2) Differentiation (fusion) of larval type myoblasts started earlier. Cell fusion began on day 2 or 3 in larval cells and on day 4 in adult cells. (3) The metamorphic hormone, triiodo-L-thyronine (T3) decreased larval cell numbers to 56% of that of control-cultures on day 7 but had no effect on adult cell number. DNA synthetic activity (3H-thymidine incorporation) in larval cells decreased under T3 (10(-8) M) to 45% of the control level on day 7. (4) Differentiation of adult myoblasts into myotubes was promoted by T3, whereas that of larval cells diminished by half. (5) Myotube death was induced by T3 specifically in larval but not in adult cultures. In addition to the myotube death, double staining with TUNEL (in situ DNA nick end labeling) and anti-desmin antibody indicated that T3 induces myoblast (desmin+ cell) death specifically in larval but not in adult cells. It is thus evident that the conversion of a larval-type myogenic system during metamorphosis becomes possible through nearly totally specific control of cell division, cell differentiation, and programmed cell death at a precursor cell level by T3.

PubMed ID: 11269949
Article link: Differentiation