For decades, limb development has been a paradigm of three-dimensional patterning. Moreover, as the limb muscles and the other tissues of the limb's musculoskeletal system arise from distinct developmental sources, it has been a prime example of integrative morphogenesis and cross-tissue communication. As the limbs grow, all components of the musculoskeletal system (muscles, tendons, connective tissue, nerves) coordinate their growth and differentiation, ultimately giving rise to a functional unit capable of executing elaborate movement. While the molecular mechanisms governing global three-dimensional patterning and formation of the skeletal structures of the limbs has been a matter of intense research, patterning of the soft tissues is less understood. Here, we review the development of limb muscles with an emphasis on their interaction with other tissue types and the instructive roles these tissues play. Furthermore, we discuss the role of adult correlates of these embryonic accessory tissues in muscle regeneration.
Keywords: Connective tissue; Fibro-Adipogenic progenitors; Limb development; Mesenchymal progenitors; Muscle development; Muscle regeneration; Satellite cells.
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