Satellite cell distribution within the soleus muscle of the adult mouse



The frequency of satellite cells was quantitated by electron microscopy in five proximal to distal regions of the soleus muscle of adult mice. In all, 236 satellite cell nuclei and 4,475 myonuclei were counted on 51 transverse thin sections. The mean percentage of satellite cells, as a ratio of satellite cells to myonuclei, per region was found to be 5.4%, 5.3%, 5.0%, 5.2% and 4.9% for the most proximal to distal areas, respectively. Analysis of variance revealed no significant differences between either the regions or the animals studied. The number of satellite cell nuclei per cross-sectional area of muscle was also calculated for each of the five regions, and these values did not vary significantly from the proximal to distal ends of the muscle. Despite the fact that satellite cells were frequently noted in close association with cross-sectional profiles of myoneural junctions, this study establishes that the number of such perisynaptic satellite cells was not large enough to affect significantly the mean percentages of all satellite cells counted within the motor endplate regions (areas 3 and 4) of the soleus muscle. It is concluded from this study that satellite cells are uniformly distributed throughout the whole muscle.