Morphometric Characteristics of Human Skeletal Muscle Cells in Primary Culture

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Pablo Hernández-Almaraz; Orlando Lugo-Lugo; Elizabeth Brassea-Pérez; Ramón Gaxiola-Robles & Tania Zenteno-Savín


The study of cell morphology has contributed to the innovation of clinical techniques and biomedical research. Primary cell culture techniques are well standardized; however, knowledge about morphometric parameters under cell culture conditions is scarce. Variations in morphology can affect cell physiology and responses. The aim of this study was to use morphometric tools to describe the growth and development of skeletal muscle cells under standard cell culture conditions. A photographic database was generated, and morphometric data was obtained for nine cell characteristics (n = 559 cells). Four muscular cell shapes (spherical, irregular outline, triangular and spindle/fusiform) were characterized with wide ranges in variation. The maximum cell length (110-262 μm), width (35-66 μm), area (2,642 - 9,480 μm2), projection lengths (45 - 127 μm), and nucleus diameter (28 ± 11 μm) were obtained by day 23 of culture. A single centrally positioned nucleus was observed in each cell; nucleoli diameter (5 ± 2 μm) and number (1 - 5) varied. In general, cyclic changes in cell sizes were identified during culture, whereas cell length, width, and area increased in spurts. These results suggest that morphometric parameters can be used to monitor skeletal muscle cell development under standard culture conditions.

KEY WORDS: Cell biology; Histology; Morphology; Muscle.

How to cite this article

HERNÁNDEZ-ALMARAZ, P.; LUGO-LUGO, O.; BRASSEA-PÉREZ, E.; GAXIOLA-ROBLES, R. & ZENTENO-SAVÍN, T. Morphometric characteristics of human skeletal muscle cells in primary culture. Int. J. Morphol., 40(2):521-529, 2022.