Myosin filament assembly onto myofibrils in live neonatal cardiomyocytes observed by TPEF-SHG microscopy

Honghai Liu, Yonghong Shao, Wan Qin, Raymond B. Runyan, Meifeng Xu, Zhen Ma, Thomas K. Borg, Roger Markwald, Bruce Z. Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


AimsUnderstanding myofibrillogenesis is essential for elucidating heart muscle formation, development, and remodelling in response to physiological stimulation. Here, we report the dynamic assembly process of contractile myosin filaments onto myofibrils in a live cardiomyocyte culture during myofibrillogenesis.Methods and resultsUtilizing a custom-built, two-photon excitation fluorescence and second harmonic generation imaging system equipped with an on-stage incubator, we observed new sarcomere additions in rat neonatal cardiomyocytes during 10 h of on-stage incubation. The new sarcomere additions occurred at the side of existing myofibrils, where we observed mature myofibrils acting as templates, or at the interstice of several separated myofibrils.ConclusionsDuring sarcomeric addition, myosin filaments are assembled onto the premyofibril laterally. This lateral addition, which proceeds stepwise along the axial direction, plays an important role in the accumulation of Z-bodies to form mature Z-disks and in the regulation of sarcomeric alignment during maturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-270
Number of pages9
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Myofibrillogenesis
  • Myosin filaments
  • On-stage incubator
  • Sarcomere addition
  • Second harmonic generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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