The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 36: 555 - 565 (1992)

Vol 36, Issue 4

Patterns of dystrophin expression in developing, adult and regenerating tail skeletal muscle of Amphibian urodeles

Published: 1 December 1992

J P Arsanto, X Caubit, E Fabbrizio, J Léger, D Mornet and Y Thouveny

Laboratoire de Biologie de la Différenciation Cellulaire, URA 179 CNRS, Faculté des Sciences de Luminy, Marseille, France.


The patterns of expression of dystrophin were investigated by indirect immunofluorescence and by immunoblotting in developing, adult and regenerating tail skeletal muscle of newts Pleurodeles waltl and Notophthalmus viridescens. In this study, a monoclonal antibody H-5A3 directed against the C-terminal region (residues 3357-3660) and a polyclonal antibody raised to the central domain (residues 1173-1738) of the chicken skeletal muscle dystrophin were used. Western blot analysis showed that these antibodies recognized a 400 kDa band of dystrophin (and may be of dystrophin-related protein) in the adult muscle tissues and in newt tail regenerates. During skeletal muscle differentiation or epimorphic regeneration (blastema), anti-dystrophin immunoreactivity gradually accumulated over the periphery of the myofibers. Dystrophin and laminin were first and concomitantly observed at the ends of the newly formed myotubes where they were anchored on connective tissue septa or bone processes by dystrophin-rich myotendinous structures. It is noteworthy that neuromuscular junctions, which most probably also contain dystrophin, are established in urodeles near the ends of the myofibers as shown by histochemical localization of AChE activity or fluorescent bungarotoxin detection of AChRs. In the stump transition zone close to the tail amputation level where tissue regeneration of injured muscle fibers took place, dystrophin staining located on the cytoplasmic surface of myofibers progressively disappeared during the dedifferentiation process which seemed to occur during muscle regeneration as suggested by electron microscopy. Furthermore, double labeling experiments using anti-dystrophin and anti-laminin antibodies showed a good correlation between the remodeling processes of the muscle fiber basal lamina and the loss of dystrophin along the sarcolemma of damaged and presumably dedifferentiating muscle cells.

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