High endocytotic and lysosomal activities in segments of rat myotubes differentiated in vitro

S. Tågerud, R. Libelius, A. Shainberg

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6 Scopus citations


Endocytosis and the lysosome system have been studied in rat myotubes differentiated in vitro. Hoseradish peroxidase was used as marker for endocytosis and was found to accumulate unevenly in the myotubes. Small segments of myotubes display very high endocytotic activity. Similar segments contained numerous lysosomes, as seen by the accumulation of neutral red or histochemical staining for acid phosphatase. The segments also contained accumulations of acetylcholine receptors as determined by binding of tetramethyl rhodamine-labelled α-bungarotoxin. Unstained segments in living cultures could be recognized by phase-contrast microscopy since they often appeared some-what dilated and were not as well spread on the culture surface as the main parts of the myotubes. Ultrastructurally, the segments contained an intensely proliferating tubular system in communication with the extracellular space, which therefore probably represents the developing transverse tubular system. The segments also contained endocytosed marker within large phagosomes. Contractile filaments occurred in the segment but were frequently less well-organized than in other parts of the myotubes. The described characteristics of the segments in rat myotubes differentiated in vitro bear resemblance to some of the characteristics of the denervated endplate region of adult muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1990


  • Acetylcholine receptor
  • Endocytosis
  • Horseradish peroxidase,-cellular transport,-labeling
  • Lysosomes
  • Myotubes
  • Rat (Sprague-Dawley)
  • T-tubules
  • Tissue culture


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