Cardiac myofibrillogenesis was examined in cultured chick cardiac cells by immunofluorescence using antibodies against titin, actin, tropomyosin, and myosin. Primitive cardiomyocytes initially contained stress fiber-like structures (SFLS) that stained positively for alpha actin and/or muscle tropomyosin. In some cases the staining for muscle tropomyosin and alpha actin was disproportionate; this suggests that the synthesis and/or assembly of these two isoforms into the SFLS may not be stoichiometric. The alpha actin containing SFLS in these myocytes could be classified as either central or peripheral; central SFLS showed developing sarcomeric titin while peripheral SFLS had weak titin fluorescence and a more uniform stain distribution. Sarcomeric patterns of titin and myosin were present at multiple sites on these structures. A pair of titin staining bands was clearly associated with each developing A band even at the two or three sarcomere stage, although occasional examples of a titin band being associated with a half sarcomere were noted. The appearance of sarcomeric titin patterns coincided or preceded sarcomere periodicity of either alpha actin or muscle tropomyosin. The early appearance of titin in myofibrillogenesis suggests it may have a role in filament alignment during sarcomere assembly.

This content is only available as a PDF.