Transcriptome expression profiles in prenatal pigs in relation to myogenesis

M.F.W. te Pas, A.A.C. de Wit, J. Priem, M. Cagnazzo, R. Davoli, V. Russo, M.H. Pool

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    Myogenesis, the formation of muscle fibers, is a complex process. Pigs have been selected for efficient muscle growth for the past decades making them interesting to study myogenesis. We studied expression profiles of genes known to affect myogenesis, muscle structural proteins, and energy metabolism in prenatal pigs from 14 to 91 days of gestation. Primary and secondary muscle fiber formation takes place during days 30¿60 and 54¿90 of gestation, respectively. Differential expression and expression levels of the genes were studied using microarray technology. Gene activation and repression profiles were studied counting the number of spots with detectable signal. The number of spots for muscle tissue structural protein genes showing upregulated expression increased constantly from day 14 until day 91of gestation indicating continued activation of genes during this period. The mRNA expression level of the genes showed a peak around day 35 of gestation. The expression levels of genes affecting myogenic differentiation (stimulating and inhibiting) showed a peak at day 35 of gestation. The number of spots for differentiation-stimulating genes showing differential expression reaches a first peak around day 35 of gestation and a nadir at day 49 of gestation while the number of spots for differentiation-inhibiting genes reaches a nadir at day 35 of gestation. Myogenic differentiation seems less a matter of the expression level of genes affecting differentiation, but depends on the balance between the number of significantly activated genes for stimulating and inhibiting differentiation. Genes stimulating myoblast proliferation showed a small peak expression prior to day 35 of gestation indicating myoblast proliferation before differentiation. The number of spots and the expression levels of genes for glycolysis and ATP-metabolism are at a nadir around days 35 and 49¿63 of gestation suggesting that the energy metabolism is low during fusion of myoblasts into multinucleated muscle fibers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)157-165
    JournalJournal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • gene-expression
    • growth
    • c2c12
    • myod
    • differentiation
    • selection


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