Expression of myosin isoforms during notexin-induced regeneration of rat soleus muscles

Dev Biol. 1990 Sep;141(1):24-40. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(90)90099-5.


Myosin isozymes and their fiber distribution were studied during regeneration of the soleus muscle of young adult (4-6 week old) rats. Muscle degeneration and regeneration were induced by a single subcutaneous injection of a snake toxin, notexin. If reinnervation of the regenerating muscle was allowed to occur (functional innervation nearly complete by 7 days), then fiber diameters continued to increase and by 28 days after toxin treatment they attained the same values as fibers in the contralateral soleus. If the muscles were denervated at the time of toxin injection, the early phases of regeneration still took place but the fibers failed to continue to increase in size. Electrophoresis of native myosin showed multiple bands between 3 and 21 days of regeneration which could be interpreted as indicating the presence of embryonic, neonatal, fast and slow myosins in the innervated muscles. Adult slow myosin became the exclusive from in innervated regenerates. In contrast, adult fast myosin became the predominant form in denervated regenerating muscles. Immunocytochemical localization of myosin isozymes demonstrated that in innervated muscles the slow form began to appear in a heterogeneous fashion at about 7 days, and became the major form in all fibers by 21-28 days. Thus, the regenerated muscle was almost entirely composed of slow fibers, in clear contrast to the contralateral muscle which was still substantially mixed. In denervated regenerating muscles, slow myosin was not detected biochemically or immunocytochemically whereas fast myosin was detected in all denervated fibers by 21-28 days. The regenerating soleus muscle therefore is clearly different from the developing soleus muscle in that the former is composed of a uniform fiber population with respect to myosin transitions. Moreover the satellite cells which account for the regeneration process in the soleus muscle do not appear to be predetermined with respect to myosin heavy chain expression, since the fibers they form can express either slow or fast isoforms. The induction of the slow myosin phenotype is entirely dependent on a positive, extrinsic influence of the nerve.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Elapid Venoms / pharmacology*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Muscle Development*
  • Muscles / cytology
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Myosins / biosynthesis*
  • Neuromuscular Junction / physiology
  • Neurotoxins / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Regeneration / physiology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Elapid Venoms
  • Neurotoxins
  • notexin
  • Myosins