• muscle;
  • myonuclei;
  • interstitial cells;
  • fibroblasts;
  • stem cells


Satellite cells are the myogenic cells lying between the myofiber sarcolemma and basal lamina. The objective of this study was to determine the expression patterns of MyoD, myogenin, and Pax7 within the satellite cell population in the growing rat soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles. Secondly, the expression of the myogenic markers was also studied within the interstitial cell compartment and myonuclei. It was discovered that the soleus contained a higher number of Pax7, MyoD, or myogenin-positive nuclei compared with the EDL. Similarly, myogenin was expressed at a lower level in the myonuclei of the soleus compared with the EDL, and myogenin was expressed at a higher level in the interstitial compartment of the soleus compared with the EDL. When interstitial nuclei, myonuclei, and double-labeled nuclei were used in the estimate of the satellite cell population, it was discovered that approximately of 13% of the myofibers in a transverse section of the soleus muscle and 4.1% of EDL myofibers exhibit a labeled satellite cell nucleus. Overall, results from this study suggest that expression patterns of these markers vary predictably among muscles with different growth dynamics and phenotypic characteristics. Developmental Dynamics 235:3230–3239, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.