The ontogeny of myostatin, follistatin and activin-B mRNA expression during chicken embryonic development.Growth Dev Aging. 1999 Winter; 63(4):143-50.GD
The developmental pattern of myostatin, follistatin and activin-B genes in chick embryonic development was investigated. Total RNA was isolated from whole embryos on each of embryonic days (E) 0 to 6, from cranial halves of the embryo at E7 to 8, and from pectoralis muscle tissues at E9 to 20. Myostatin, follistatin and activin-B cDNAs were synthesized by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Myostatin expression was first detected in embryos as early as the blastoderm stage (unincubated embryo, stage 1, E0). Myostatin mRNA concentration declined approximately 5 fold by E2 and remained lower through E6. Levels then increased 3 fold on E7 and plateaued through E16. Follistatin mRNA was first detected in the blastoderm stage of chick embryos. Overall follistatin mRNA increased 6 fold from E1 to E20 of development. Follistatin levels declined on E1 (approximately 2 fold) and remained low through E9. Follistatin mRNA reached the highest level prior to hatching. Activin-B mRNA from the whole embryo preparations (E0-E6) varied as the embryo matured. Overall activin-B gene expression from E11 to E20 appeared to decline (approximately 3.5 fold). This pattern is opposite of follistatin during the same period which is consistent with the opposing functions of these two proteins. We suggest that follistatin, activin-B and myostatin play an important role in embryogenesis and skeletal muscle development of the chick embryo. This study represents the first comprehensive report of myostatin mRNA patterns in chicken embryos.