The esophagus is a muscular tube which transports swallowed content from the oral cavity and the pharynx to the stomach. Early in mouse development, an entire layer of the esophagus, the muscularis externa, consists of differentiated smooth muscle cells. Starting shortly after mid-gestation till about two weeks after birth, the muscularis externa almost entirely consists of striated muscle. This proximal-to-distal replacement of smooth muscle by the striated muscle depends on a number of factors. To identify the nature of the hypothetical "proximal" (mainly striated muscle originating) and "distal" (mainly smooth muscle originating) signals that govern the striated-for-smooth muscle replacement, we compared the esophagus of Myf5:MyoD null fetuses completely lacking striated muscle to the normal control using cDNA microarray analysis, followed by a comprehensive database search. Here we provide an insight into the nature of "proximal" and "distal" signals that govern the striated-for-smooth muscle replacement in the esophagus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine