Growth and Development Unit

Myogenesis as the fundamental of skeletal muscle plasticity

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:

  • Molecular and metabolic control of early postnatal myogenic processes in farm animals (pig, chicken)
  • Role of mitochondrial signalling in regulation of functional properties of heterogenic SC populations in piglets with normal or below average birth weights
  • Modulation of SC growth behaviour  by diet compounds, bioactive substances and components of the immune system

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.


Dr. Toni Schumacher
Institute of Muscle Biology and Growth
+49 38208 68-862 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-862
Dr. rer. nat. Katja Stange
Institute of Muscle Biology and Growth
+49 38208 68-854 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-854

Supervised Doctoral Candidates