Evidence that acidic fibroblast growth factor promotes maturation of rat satellite-cell-derived myotubes in vitro

Differentiation. 1999 Nov;65(3):161-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1432-0436.1999.6530161.x.


Satellite cells isolated from fast tibialis anterior (TA) and slow soleus (SOL) rat muscles were cultivated on matrigel, and treated with acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF). The following observations were made: 1) aFGF-treated cultures exhibited enhanced proliferation as mirrored by a twofold increase in DNA content. 2) Compared to the untreated cultures, myotubes in the aFGF cultures were larger; 3) Using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and northern blot analyses, we observed enhanced expression of all adult myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoforms, as well as of myogenin. These findings indicate that, under the culture conditions used, aFGF has a stimulatory effect on proliferation but also on maturation and differentiation of satellite cells. Furthermore, transcript levels of FGF receptor 1 (FGFR1) and 4 (FGFR4) isoforms, as well as of aFGF and bFGF were assessed by RT-PCR. aFGF-treated myotubes displayed increased expression of aFGF and bFGF, suggesting a paracrine effect of exogenous aFGF. In this regard, SOL-derived cultures responded more strongly than TA-derived cultures. The effects of aFGF treatment on the two receptors consisted of a decrease in FGFR1 and an increase in FGFR4 mRNA levels in 5-day-old cultures. In 8-day-old TA cultures, effects of FGF were similar to those in 5-day-old cultures. 8-day FGF-treated SOL cultures treated with FGF for 8 days exhibited higher FGFR1 and FGFR4 mRNA levels than the respective untreated cultures. Compared to 5 day-treated cultures, FGFR1 increased and FGFR4 decreased. This led to a shift in the ratio of FGFR1 to FGFR4 in the FGF-treated cultures which may explain the ability of satellite cells to differentiate under the influence of aFGF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 1 / pharmacology*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / biosynthesis
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / drug effects
  • Male
  • Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch / cytology
  • Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch / drug effects*
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / cytology
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / biosynthesis
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / biosynthesis
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stem Cells / classification
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / drug effects*
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects


  • Biomarkers
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 1
  • Myosin Heavy Chains