Myogenic stem cells such as satellite cells (SC) are essentially involved in the processes of myofiber formation and hypertrophy. Their functional properties (e.g., adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, bioenergetics) determine the muscles growth and regeneration potential as well as its adaptability. Moreover, during critical periods of muscle development the functionality of SC can be changed permanently by intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Therefore, we are working on the identification and characterization of myogenic stem cell populations and want to discover their role in specific processes of postnatal myogenesis. In this context we focus on the early postnatal extension of myofibre formation in the pig. To clarify underlying regulatory mechanisms we explore the following main topics:
Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the processes of skeletal muscle development and plasticity. At long last this will help to improve muscle health, body composition and meat quality in farm animals.