Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 1868829
EMBO J. 1991 Sep;10(9):2411-8
We have defined culture conditions, using a feeder layer of cells from the embryonic mesenchymal cell line, 10T1/2 and a serum-free medium, which allow cells from the mouse myogenic cell line Sol 8 to form contracting myotubes for two weeks. Under these culture conditions, Sol 8 myotubes undergo a maturation process characterized by a sequential expression of two phenotypes. An early phenotype is typified by the expression of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) gamma-subunit transcripts and the presence of low conductance ACh-activated channels, typical of embryonic AChR. A late phenotype is characterized by the expression of AChR epsilon-subunit transcripts, the decreased accumulation of gamma-subunit transcripts and the appearance of high conductance ACh-activated channels, typical of adult AChR. These results indicate that the expression of functional adult type AChR does not require the presence of the motor nerve and therefore represents an intrinsic feature of the Sol 8 muscle cells. Chronic exposure of the cells to the voltage-sensitive Na+ channel blocking agent tetrodotoxin does not affect the appearance of the AChR epsilon-subunit transcripts but prevents the reduction of the steady-state level of the AChR gamma-subunit transcripts and yields a reduced proportion of the adult type channels. Thus, activity seems to facilitate the switch from the embryonic to the adult phenotype of the AChR protein. The Sol 8 cell system might be useful to analyse further the genetic and epigenetic regulation of muscle fibre maturation in mammals.