Optogenetic induction of contractile ability in immature C2C12 myotubes

Toshifumi Asano, Toru Ishizuka, Keisuke Morishima, Hiromu Yawo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)


    Myoblasts can be differentiated into multinucleated myotubes, which provide a well-established and reproducible muscle cell model for skeletal myogenesis in vitro. However, under conventional differentiation conditions, each myotube rarely exhibits robust contraction as well as sarcomere arrangement. Here, we applied trains of optical stimulation (OS) to C2C12 myotubes, which were genetically engineered to express a channelrhodopsin variant, channelrhodopsin-green receiver (ChRGR), to investigate whether membrane depolarization facilitates the maturation of myotubes. We found that light pulses induced membrane depolarization and evoked action potentials in ChRGR-expressing myotubes. Regular alignments of sarcomeric proteins were patterned periodically after OS training. In contrast, untrained control myotubes rarely exhibited the striated patterns. OS-trained and untrained myotubes also differed in terms of their resting potential. OS training significantly increased the number of contractile myotubes. Treatment with nifedipine during OS training significantly decreased the fraction of contractile myotubes, whereas tetrodotoxin was less effective. These results suggest that oscillations of membrane potential and intracellular Ca2+ accompanied by OS promoted sarcomere assembly and the development of contractility during the myogenic process. These results also suggest that optogenetic techniques could be used to manipulate the activity-dependent process during myogenic development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8317
    Pages (from-to)8317
    Number of pages1
    JournalScientific reports
    Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General


    Dive into the research topics of 'Optogenetic induction of contractile ability in immature C2C12 myotubes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this