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Introduction: Over the past 10 years, the use of zebrafish for scientific research in the area of muscle development has increased dramatically. Although several protocols exist for the isolation of adult myoblast progenitors from larger fish, no standardized protocol exists for the isolation of myogenic progenitors from adult zebrafish muscle.
Methods: Using a variant of a mammalian myoblast isolation protocol, zebrafish muscle progenitors have been isolated from the total dorsal myotome. These zebrafish myoblast progenitors can be cultured for several passages and then differentiated into multinucleated, mature myotubes.
Results: Transcriptome analysis of these cells during myogenic differentiation revealed a strong downregulation of pluripotency genes, while, conversely, showing an upregulation of myogenic signaling and structural genes.
Conclusions: Together these studies provide a simple, yet detailed method for the isolation and culture of myogenic progenitors from adult zebrafish, while further promoting their therapeutic potential for the study of muscle disease and drug screening.