Regulation of satellite cells during skeletal muscle repair and regeneration

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Postnatal skeletal muscle repair is dependent on the tight regulation of an adult stem cell population known as satellite cells. In response to injury, these quiescent cells are activated, proliferate

Postnatal skeletal muscle repair is dependent on the tight regulation of an adult stem cell population known as satellite cells. In response to injury, these quiescent cells are activated, proliferate and express skeletal muscle-specific genes. The majority of satellite cells will fuse to damaged fibers or form new muscle fibers, while a subset will return to a quiescent state, where they are available for future rounds of repair. Robust muscle repair is dependent on the signals that regulate the mutually exclusive decisions of differentiation and self-renewal. A likely candidate for regulating this process is NUMB, an inhibitor of Notch signaling pathway that has been shown to asymmetrically localize in daughter cells undergoing cell fate decisions. In order to study the role of this protein in muscle repair, an inducible knockout of Numb was made in mice. Numb deficient muscle had a defective repair response to acute induced damage as characterized by smaller myofibers, increased collagen deposition and infiltration of fibrotic cells. Satellite cells isolated from Numb-deficient mice show decreased proliferation rates. Subsequent analyses of gene expression demonstrated that these cells had an aberrantly up-regulated Myostatin (Mstn), an inhibitor of myoblast proliferation. Further, this defect could be rescued with Mstn specific siRNAs. These data indicate that NUMB is necessary for postnatal muscle repair and early proliferative expansion of satellite cells. We used an evolutionary compatible to examine processes controlling satellite cell fate decisions, primary satellite cell lines were generated from Anolis carolinensis. This green anole lizard is evolutionarily the closet animal to mammals that forms de novo muscle tissue while undergoing tail regeneration. The mechanism of regeneration in anoles and the sources of stem cells for skeletal muscle, cartilage and nerves are poorly understood. Thus, satellite cells were isolated from A. carolinensis and analyzed for their plasticity. Anole satellite cells show increased plasticity as compared to mouse as determined by expression of key markers specific for bone and cartilage without administration of exogenous morphogens. These novel data suggest that satellite cells might contribute to more than muscle in tail regeneration of A. carolinensis.