New insights into the pathogenesis of congenital myopathies

J Child Neurol. 1994 Apr;9(2):193-201. doi: 10.1177/088307389400900218.


Congenital myopathies are developmental disorders of muscle that are best understood in the context of ontogenesis. Segmental amyoplasia results from a defective somite, usually because of lack of induction by the notochord and neural tube; the connective tissue matrix of the muscle is derived from lateral mesoderm and is present, but the myocytes are derived from somitic mesoderm and are replaced by adipose cells. Generalized amyoplasia is due to defective myogenic regulatory genes. X-linked recessive myotubular myopathy is associated with overexpression of vimentin and desmin, fetal intermediate filaments that attach to nuclear, mitochondrial, and inner sarcolemmal membranes and Z-bands of sarcomeres to preserve the morphologic organization of the myotube. Neonatal myotonic dystrophy is a true maturational delay in muscle development. Congenital muscle fiber-type disproportion is a syndrome of multiple etiologies but in some cases is associated with cerebellar hypoplasia and may be the result of abnormal suprasegmental stimulation of the developing motor unit at 20 to 28 weeks' gestation, mediated through bulbospinal pathways but not the corticospinal tract. Maturational delay of muscle in late developmental stages is less specific than in stages before midgestation. The Proteus syndrome is a muscular dysgenesis; abnormal paracrine growth factors and perhaps altered genes that regulate muscle differentiation and growth, such as myoD and myogenin, are the suspected cause. Focal proliferative myositis may be another example of a "paracrine myopathy."

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Muscles / embryology
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Muscular Diseases / embryology
  • Muscular Diseases / genetics*
  • Muscular Diseases / pathology
  • MyoD Protein / physiology
  • Myogenin / physiology
  • Proteus Syndrome / embryology
  • Proteus Syndrome / genetics
  • Proteus Syndrome / pathology
  • Sex Chromosome Aberrations / genetics
  • X Chromosome


  • MYOG protein, human
  • MyoD Protein
  • Myogenin