Activity-unrelated neural control of myogenic factors in a slow muscle

Jon Philippe K. Hyatt, Roland R. Roy, Kenneth M. Baldwin, Anton Wernig, V. Reggie Edgerton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The properties of skeletal muscles are modulated by neural and nonneural factors, and the neural factors can be modulated by activity-independent as well as activity-dependent mechanisms. Given that daily activation of fast muscles is considerably less than of slow muscles, we hypothesized that the myogenic properties of the rat soleus (a slow muscle) would be more dependent on activity-dependent than activity-independent factors. Muscle mass, MyoD, and myogenin mRNA and protein levels, and satellite cell proliferation and differentiation rates (bromodeoxyuridine incorporation) were examined at 3, 14, and 28 days after either spinal cord isolation (SI, neuromuscular connectivity intact with minimal activation) or denervation (no neural influence). Soleus atrophy was similar in the SI and denervated groups at each time point, although increases in whole-muscle expression of myogenin and, to a lesser degree, MyoD were lower (P < 0.05) in SI than denervated soleus muscles. Proliferation and differentiation of satellite cells, as well as mitotic activity of connective tissue cells, were lower (P < 0.05) in SI than denervated soleus muscles. In some instances, these changes were not observed until the later time points, i.e., 14 or 28 days. These results demonstrate that the motoneurons that innervate the slow soleus muscle have a significant modulatory influence on some muscle properties via mechanisms that are independent of activation. These activity-independent modulatory influences, however, are less in the slow soleus than previously observed in fast muscles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bromodeoxyuridine
  • Denervation
  • Disuse
  • Myogenic regulatory factors
  • Satellite cells
  • Spinal cord isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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