Muscle precursor dynamics during growth and repair

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


To date, knowledge of stem cell behavior during growth and muscle regeneration is limited by an inability to follow the repair process over time in vivo. Zebrafish larvae are amenable to in vivo imaging and possess muscle precursor cells (putative muscle stem cells). However, it has not been demonstrated whether the precursor cells marked by Pax7-expression are involved in post-hatched larval muscle growth and repair as in amniotes. With this aim in mind, the dynamics of Pax7+ precursors was quantitated. Myogenin+ precursor cells were also quantified as a marker of differentiation and along with Pax7+ precursors were found to peak preceding myotomal recovery in myodfh261 and wild type wounded fish, providing strong evidence for a role of Pax7+ and Myogenin+ muscle precursors in zebrafish growth and repair. Moreover, the spatiotemporal dynamics of precursors showed distinct proliferation, differentiation and migration behavior based on location in the somite. Roles of the niche at each somitic location are proposed based on the differences observed during growth and repair in the larval zebrafish.
Date of Award2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorSimon Hughes (Supervisor), Adam Rodaway (Supervisor) & Jon Clarke (Supervisor)

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