Intermediate filament (IF) proteins show specific spatial and temporal expression during development of skeletal muscle. Nestin, the least known muscle IF, has an important role in neuronal regeneration. Therefore, we analyzed the expression pattern of nestin as related to that of vimentin and desmin during skeletal muscle regeneration. Nestin and vimentin appear at 6 h post-injury in myoblasts, with maximum expression around day 3-5 post-injury. Thereafter, vimentin expression ceases completely, whereas that of nestin is downregulated to remain only in the sarcoplasm next to neuromuscular and myotendinous junctions. Desmin appears at 6-12 h post-injury and becomes the predominant IF in myofibers simultaneously with the appearance of cross-striations. The expression pattern and colocalization of nestin and vimentin, known to form heteropolymers, suggests that they are essential during the early dynamic phase of the myofiber regeneration when migration, fusion, and structural modeling of myogenic cells occurs, whereas desmin is responsible for keeping myofibrils in register in mature myofibers. In conclusion, the expression of nestin is dynamically orchestrated with that of vimentin and desmin during skeletal muscle regeneration and recapitulates that seen during myogenesis, i.e. these IFs have key functional roles in the construction and restoration of skeletal myofibers.
|Journal||Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|