Skeletal muscle is a very heterogeneous tissue consisting of diverse cell types with specific transcription profiles. Therefore, the measured Mrna abundance of a certain cell type marker is influenced by the transcriptional activity as well as by the usually unknown number of contributing cells in the sample. In studies on the transcriptional activity of adipogenic genes, as indicators for the development of intramuscular adipocytes, an altered number of adipocytes or respective progenitor cells can mask changes in transcriptional activity. To overcome this problem, we started to use laser microdissection to isolate RNA of adipocytes and muscle fibers separately for downstream analysis. Even muscle fiber types can be collected and analyzed separately. Laser microdissection in combination with biopsy techniques enables gene expression studies of particular cell types during the life cycle of an animal. First experiences using laser microdissection for adipogenic gene expression studies in bovine skeletal muscle are described, and the influence of sample preparation and future challenges are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology