Nutritional and pharmacological manipulations of myogenesis in the rat : a study of protein expression
Although much work has been carried out to identify the mechanisms by which muscle is formed, many of the regulatory pathways involved have yet to be fully elucidated. In creating perturbations during the embryonic period, either nutritionally (with a marginal vitamin A deficiency model) or pharmacologically (with the b2-adrenerguic agonist clenbuterol), a comparison with 'normal' muscle development may be attained. Differences in the temporal expression of specific regulatory proteins may then enhance the existing knowledge of their function in regulating muscle development. Prior to studying changes in muscle regulatory proteins due to perturbations, it was first necessary to illustrate their temporal pattern in "normal" muscle development. The results indicated that a complex regulatory system operates in myogenesis with a number of proteins appearing to be involved in the process of muscle development. A marginal vitamin A deficiency model was established in which maternal retinol levels were clearly reduced in treatment animals in comparison with controls. This resulted in offspring that showed clearly symptoms of marginal vitamin A deficiency. Changes in the abundance of five proteins were observed in response to marginal vitamin A deficiency. Overall, these changes suggested a potential reduction in secondary myogenesis, based on reduced levels of MHCfast, associated with secondary fibres, following birth. Analysis of RNA, DNA and protein values suggested that neonates from clenbuterol fed dams may have reduced hyperplasia and/or increased hypertrophy. Biochemical analysis revealed that proteins such as GATA-2, PKC and Shh, which have previously been associated with hypertrophy, were altered in response to clenbuterol. Further evidence in support of hypertrophy was indicated in an apparent increase in fibre size of neonates detected by MHC immunolocalisation. In conclusion, it has been demonstrated that both nutritional and pharmacological manipulations throughout are gestation capable of altering myogeneiss in utero by two different mechanisms.