Our previous studies demonstrated that illumination of chicken embryos with monochromatic green light results in enhanced body and muscle weight at later posthatch stages. In the present study, we investigated the cellular and molecular basis of this phenomenon. First, we showed that on day 6 posthatch, myofibers were more uniform in the in ovo illuminated group than in the control group incubated in the dark, with respect to the number of myofibers displaying diameter values within the range of the mean value. Second, we tested the hypothesis that in ovo illumination causes an increase in the number of myoblasts; this in turn can promote posthatch muscle growth. Indeed, a significant increase in the number of skeletal muscle cells isolated from pectoralis muscle was observed in the in ovo illuminated group on days 1 and 3 posthatch relative to the control group. This increased cell number was accompanied by higher expression levels of Pax7 and myogenin proteins on posthatch days 1 and 3, respectively. A parallel analysis of proliferating cells in the intact muscle further demonstrated a significant increase in the number of cells positive for proliferating cell nuclear antigen in muscle from the in ovo illuminated group. Third, we demonstrated that the transition from fetal- to adult-type myoblasts, normally occurring in late stages of chicken embryogenesis, is initiated earlier in embryos subjected to in ovo green-light illumination. We suggest that the stimulatory effect of in ovo illumination on posthatch muscle growth is the result of enhanced proliferation and differentiation of adult myoblasts and myofiber synchronization.
|Original language||American English|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology|
|State||Published - Apr 2006|
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