Properties of skeletal muscle tissue are mainly determined by its composition of muscle fibers, adipocytes and connective tissue. Muscle and fat cells compete for nutrients on the one hand, but communicate with each other by secreted molecules called adipokines and myokines on the other hand. The function of these messengers in cellular processes is largely unknown in farm animals. The investigations aim at identification of adipokines and myokines and at understanding their role in regulatory cascades of myogenic and adipogenic differentiation. Their effects on the highly variable composition and function of skeletal muscle will be elucidated in farm animals. Moreover, the effects of pathological alterations of skeletal muscle on animal health and growth parameters are considered.
Better understanding of these processes is the basis for production of high quality meat with healthy animals.