ResearchPad - muscle-regeneration https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Prolyl hydroxylase domain 2 reduction enhances skeletal muscle tissue regeneration after soft tissue trauma in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14698 The transcription factor Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) plays a pivotal role in tissue regeneration. HIF-1 is negatively controlled by O2-dependent prolyl hydroxylases with a predominant role of prolyl hydroxylase 2 isoform (Phd2). Transgenic mice, hypomorphic for this isoform, accumulate more HIF-1 under normoxic conditions. Using these mice, we investigated the influence of Phd2 and HIF-1 on the regenerative capability of skeletal muscle tissue after myotrauma. Phd2-hypomorphic and wild type mice (on C57Bl/6 background) were grouped with regeneration times from 6 to 168 hours after closed mechanic muscle trauma to the hind limb. Tissue samples were analysed by immuno-staining and real-time PCR. Bone marrow derived macrophages of wild type and Phd2-hypomorphic mice were isolated and analysed via flow cytometry and quantitative real-time PCR. Phd2 reduction led to a higher regenerative capability due to enhanced activation of myogenic factors accompanied by induction of genes responsible for glucose and lactate metabolism in Phd2-hypomorphic mice. Macrophage infiltration into the trauma areas in hypomorphic mice started earlier and was more pronounced compared to wild type mice. Phd2-hypomorphic mice also showed higher numbers of macrophages in areas with sustained trauma 72 hours after myotrauma application. In conclusion, we postulate that the HIF-1 pathway is activated secondary to a Phd2 reduction which may lead to i) higher activation of myogenic factors, ii) increased number of positive stem cell proliferation markers, and iii) accelerated macrophage recruitment to areas of trauma, resulting in faster muscle tissue regeneration after myotrauma. With the current development of prolyl hydroxylase domain inhibitors, our findings point towards a potential clinical benefit after myotrauma.

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<![CDATA[Mechanisms underpinning the permanent muscle damage induced by snake venom metalloprotease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59febed5eed0c484135375

Snakebite is a major neglected tropical health issue that affects over 5 million people worldwide resulting in around 1.8 million envenomations and 100,000 deaths each year. Snakebite envenomation also causes innumerable morbidities, specifically loss of limbs as a result of excessive tissue/muscle damage. Snake venom metalloproteases (SVMPs) are a predominant component of viper venoms, and are involved in the degradation of basement membrane proteins (particularly collagen) surrounding the tissues around the bite site. Although their collagenolytic properties have been established, the molecular mechanisms through which SVMPs induce permanent muscle damage are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate the purification and characterisation of an SVMP from a viper (Crotalus atrox) venom. Mass spectrometry analysis confirmed that this protein is most likely to be a group III metalloprotease (showing high similarity to VAP2A) and has been referred to as CAMP (Crotalus atrox metalloprotease). CAMP displays both collagenolytic and fibrinogenolytic activities and inhibits CRP-XL-induced platelet aggregation. To determine its effects on muscle damage, CAMP was administered into the tibialis anterior muscle of mice and its actions were compared with cardiotoxin I (a three-finger toxin) from an elapid snake (Naja pallida) venom. Extensive immunohistochemistry analyses revealed that CAMP significantly damages skeletal muscles by attacking the collagen scaffold and other important basement membrane proteins, and prevents their regeneration through disrupting the functions of satellite cells. In contrast, cardiotoxin I destroys skeletal muscle by damaging the plasma membrane, but does not impact regeneration due to its inability to affect the extracellular matrix. Overall, this study provides novel insights into the mechanisms through which SVMPs induce permanent muscle damage.

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<![CDATA[Identification of qPCR reference genes suitable for normalizing gene expression in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b525fd5eed0c4842bc6fe

The mdx mouse is the most widely-used animal model of the human disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and quantitative PCR analysis of gene expression in the muscles of this animal plays a key role in the study of pathogenesis and disease progression and in evaluation of potential therapeutic interventions. Normalization to appropriate stably-expressed reference genes is essential for accurate quantitative measurement, but determination of such genes is challenging: healthy and dystrophic muscles present very different transcriptional environments, further altering with disease progression and muscle use, raising the possibility that no single gene or combination of genes may be stable under all experimental comparative scenarios. Despite the pedigree of this animal model, this problem remains unaddressed. The aim of this work was therefore to comprehensively assess reference gene suitability in the muscles of healthy and dystrophic mice, identifying reference genes appropriate for specific experimental comparisons, and determining whether an essentially universally-applicable set of genes exists. Using a large sample collection comprising multiple muscles (including the tibialis anterior, diaphragm and heart muscles) taken from healthy and mdx mice at three disease-relevant ages, and a panel of sixteen candidate reference genes (FBXO38, FBXW2, MON2, ZFP91, HTATSF1, GAPDH, ACTB, 18S, CDC40, SDHA, RPL13a, CSNK2A2, AP3D1, PAK1IP1, B2M and HPRT1), we used the geNorm, BestKeeper and Normfinder algorithms to identify genes that were stable under multiple possible comparative scenarios. We reveal that no single gene is stable under all conditions, but a normalization factor derived from multiple genes (RPL13a, CSNK2A2, AP3D1 and the widely-used ACTB) appears suitable for normalizing gene expression in both healthy and dystrophic mouse muscle regardless of muscle type or animal age. We further show that other popular reference genes, including GAPDH, are markedly disease- or muscle-type correlated. This study demonstrates the importance of empirical reference gene identification, and should serve as a valuable resource for investigators wishing to study gene expression in mdx mice.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of a novel microRNA, miR-188, elevated in serum of muscular dystrophy dog model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b525dd5eed0c4842bc6ee

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding small RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Several miRNAs are exclusively expressed in skeletal muscle and participate in the regulation of muscle differentiation by interacting with myogenic factors. These miRNAs can be found at high levels in the serum of patients and animal models for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is expected to be useful as biomarkers for their clinical conditions. By miRNA microarray analysis, we identified miR-188 as a novel miRNA that is elevated in the serum of the muscular dystrophy dog model, CXMDJ. miR-188 was not muscle-specific miRNA, but its expression was up-regulated in skeletal muscles associated with muscle regeneration induced by cardiotoxin-injection in normal dogs and mice. Manipulation of miR-188 expression using antisense oligo and mimic oligo RNAs alters the mRNA expression of the myogenic regulatory factors, MRF4 and MEF2C. Our results suggest that miR-188 is a new player that participates in the gene regulation process of muscle differentiation and that it may serve as a serum biomarker reflecting skeletal muscle regeneration.

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<![CDATA[Skeletal Muscle Regeneration and Oxidative Stress Are Altered in Chronic Kidney Disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db2eab0ee8fa60bd1c7b

Skeletal muscle atrophy and impaired muscle function are associated with lower health-related quality of life, and greater disability and mortality risk in those with chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, the pathogenesis of skeletal dysfunction in CKD is unknown. We used a slow progressing, naturally occurring, CKD rat model (Cy/+ rat) with hormonal abnormalities consistent with clinical presentations of CKD to study skeletal muscle signaling. The CKD rats demonstrated augmented skeletal muscle regeneration with higher activation and differentiation signals in muscle cells (i.e. lower Pax-7; higher MyoD and myogenin RNA expression). However, there was also higher expression of proteolytic markers (Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1) in CKD muscle relative to normal. CKD animals had higher indices of oxidative stress compared to normal, evident by elevated plasma levels of an oxidative stress marker, 8-hydroxy-2' -deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), increased muscle expression of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) and Nox4 and altered mitochondria morphology. Furthermore, we show significantly higher serum levels of myostatin and expression of myostatin in skeletal muscle of CKD animals compared to normal. Taken together, these data show aberrant regeneration and proteolytic signaling that is associated with oxidative stress and high levels of myostatin in the setting of CKD. These changes likely play a role in the compromised skeletal muscle function that exists in CKD.

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<![CDATA[The Mutual Interactions between Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Myoblasts in an Autologous Co-Culture Model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daccab0ee8fa60bb4a79

Both myoblasts and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) take part in the muscle tissue regeneration and have been used as experimental cellular therapy in muscular disorders treatment. It is possible that co-transplantation approach could improve the efficacy of this treatment. However, the relations between those two cell types are not clearly defined. The aim of this study was to determine the reciprocal interactions between myoblasts and MSC in vitro in terms of the features important for the muscle regeneration process. Primary caprine muscle-derived cells (MDC) and bone marrow-derived MSC were analysed in autologous settings. We found that MSC contribute to myotubes formation by fusion with MDC when co-cultured directly, but do not acquire myogenic phenotype if exposed to MDC-derived soluble factors only. Experiments with exposure to hydrogen peroxide showed that MSC are significantly more resistant to oxidative stress than MDC, but a direct co-culture with MSC does not diminish the cytotoxic effect of H2O2 on MDC. Cell migration assay demonstrated that MSC possess significantly greater migration ability than MDC which is further enhanced by MDC-derived soluble factors, whereas the opposite effect was not found. MSC-derived soluble factors significantly enhanced the proliferation of MDC, whereas MDC inhibited the division rate of MSC. To conclude, presented results suggest that myogenic precursors and MSC support each other during muscle regeneration and therefore myoblasts-MSC co-transplantation could be an attractive approach in the treatment of muscular disorders.

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<![CDATA[Comparative Study of Injury Models for Studying Muscle Regeneration in Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf2ab0ee8fa60bc1a24

Background

A longstanding goal in regenerative medicine is to reconstitute functional tissus or organs after injury or disease. Attention has focused on the identification and relative contribution of tissue specific stem cells to the regeneration process. Relatively little is known about how the physiological process is regulated by other tissue constituents. Numerous injury models are used to investigate tissue regeneration, however, these models are often poorly understood. Specifically, for skeletal muscle regeneration several models are reported in the literature, yet the relative impact on muscle physiology and the distinct cells types have not been extensively characterised.

Methods

We have used transgenic Tg:Pax7nGFP and Flk1GFP/+ mouse models to respectively count the number of muscle stem (satellite) cells (SC) and number/shape of vessels by confocal microscopy. We performed histological and immunostainings to assess the differences in the key regeneration steps. Infiltration of immune cells, chemokines and cytokines production was assessed in vivo by Luminex®.

Results

We compared the 4 most commonly used injury models i.e. freeze injury (FI), barium chloride (BaCl2), notexin (NTX) and cardiotoxin (CTX). The FI was the most damaging. In this model, up to 96% of the SCs are destroyed with their surrounding environment (basal lamina and vasculature) leaving a “dead zone” devoid of viable cells. The regeneration process itself is fulfilled in all 4 models with virtually no fibrosis 28 days post-injury, except in the FI model. Inflammatory cells return to basal levels in the CTX, BaCl2 but still significantly high 1-month post-injury in the FI and NTX models. Interestingly the number of SC returned to normal only in the FI, 1-month post-injury, with SCs that are still cycling up to 3-months after the induction of the injury in the other models.

Conclusions

Our studies show that the nature of the injury model should be chosen carefully depending on the experimental design and desired outcome. Although in all models the muscle regenerates completely, the trajectories of the regenerative process vary considerably. Furthermore, we show that histological parameters are not wholly sufficient to declare that regeneration is complete as molecular alterations (e.g. cycling SCs, cytokines) could have a major persistent impact.

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<![CDATA[Red and Infrared Low-Level Laser Therapy Prior to Injury with or without Administration after Injury Modulate Oxidative Stress during the Muscle Repair Process]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db46ab0ee8fa60bd8a1c

Introduction

Muscle injury is common among athletes and amateur practitioners of sports. Following an injury, the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) occurs, which can harm healthy muscle fibers (secondary damage) and delay the repair process. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) administered prior to or following an injury has demonstrated positive and protective effects on muscle repair, but the combination of both administration times together has not been clarified.

Aim

To evaluate the effect of LLLT (660 nm and 780 nm, 10 J/cm², 40 mW, 3.2 J) prior to injury with or without the administration after injury on oxidative stress during the muscle repair process.

Methods

Wistar rats were divided into following groups: control; muscle injury alone; LLLT 660 nm + injury; LLLT 780 nm + injury; LLLT 660 nm before and after injury; and LLLT 780 nm before and after injury. The rats were euthanized on days 1, 3 and 7 following cryoinjury of the tibialis anterior (TA) muscle, which was then removed for analysis.

Results

Lipid peroxidation decreased in the 660+injury group after one day. Moreover, red and infrared LLLT employed at both administration times induced a decrease in lipid peroxidation after seven days. CAT activity was altered by LLLT in all periods evaluated, with a decrease after one day in the 780+injury+780 group and after seven days in the 780+injury group as well as an increase in the 780+injury and 780+injury+780 groups after three days. Furthermore, increases in GPx and SOD activity were found after seven days in the 780+injury+780 group.

Conclusion

The administration of red and infrared laser therapy at different times positively modulates the activity of antioxidant enzymes and reduces stress markers during the muscle repair process.

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<![CDATA[Nur77 deletion impairs muscle growth during developmental myogenesis and muscle regeneration in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb93f

Muscle atrophy is a prevalent condition in illness and aging. Identifying novel pathways that control muscle mass may lead to therapeutic advancement. We previously identified Nur77 as a transcriptional regulator of glycolysis in skeletal muscle. More recently, we showed that Nur77 expression also controls myofiber size in mice. It was unknown, however, whether Nur77’s regulation of muscle size begins during developmental myogenesis or only in adulthood. To determine the importance of Nur77 throughout muscle growth, we examined myofiber size at E18.5, 3 weeks postnatal age, and in young adult mice. Using the global Nur77-/- mice, we showed that Nur77 deficiency reduced myofiber size as early as E18.5. The reduction in myofiber size became more pronounced by 3 weeks of age. We observed comparable reduction in myofiber size in young myofiber-specific Nur77-knockout mice. These findings suggest that Nur77’s effect on muscle growth is intrinsic to its expression in differentiating myofibers, and not dependent on its expression in myogenic stem cells. To determine the importance of Nur77 expression in muscle accretion in mature mice, we generated an inducible-, muscle-specific, Nur77-deficient mouse model. We demonstrated that tamoxifen-induced deletion of Nur77 in 3-month-old mice reduced myofiber size. This change was accompanied by increased activity of Smad2 and FoxO3, two negative regulators of muscle mass. The role of Nur77 in muscle growth was further elaborated in the cardiotoxin-induced muscle regeneration model. Compared to wildtype mice, regenerated myofibers were smaller in Nur77-/- mice. However, when normalized to saline-injected muscle, the recovery of sarcoplasmic area was comparable between Nur77-/- and wildtype mice. These findings suggest that Nur77 deficiency compromises myofiber growth, but not the regenerative capacity of myogenic progenitor cells. Collectively, the findings presented here demonstrate Nur77 as an important regulator of muscle growth both during prenatal and postnatal myogenesis.

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<![CDATA[Molecular Mimicry between Chikungunya Virus and Host Components: A Possible Mechanism for the Arthritic Manifestations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db54ab0ee8fa60bdcf9c

Background

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), a reemerging pathogen causes a self limited illness characterized by fever, headache, myalgia and arthralgia. However, 10–20% affected individuals develop persistent arthralgia which contributes to considerable morbidity. The exact molecular mechanisms underlying these manifestations are not well understood. The present study investigated the possible occurrence of molecular mimicry between CHIKV E1 glycoprotein and host human components.

Methodology

Bioinformatic tools were used to identify peptides of CHIKV E1 exhibiting similarity to host components. Two peptides (A&B) were identified using several bioinformatic tools, synthesised and used to validate the results obtained in silico. An ELISA was designed to assess the immunoreactivity of serum samples from CHIKV patients to these peptides. Further, experiments were conducted in a C57BL/6J experimental mouse model to investigate if peptide A and peptide B were indeed capable of inducing pathology.

Findings

The serum samples showed reactivity of varying degrees, indicating that these peptides are indeed being recognized by the host immune system during CHIKV infection. Further, these peptides when injected into C57BL/6J mice were able to induce significant inflammation in the muscles of C57BL/6J mice, similar to that observed in animals that were injected with CHIKV alone. Additionally, animals that were primed initially with CHIKV followed by a subsequent injection of the CHIKV peptides exhibited enhanced inflammatory pathology in the skeletal muscles as compared to animals that were injected with peptides or virus alone. Collectively these observations validate the hypothesis that molecular mimicry between CHIKV E1 protein and host proteins does contribute to pathology in CHIKV infection.

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<![CDATA[The Tocotrienol-Rich Fraction Is Superior to Tocopherol in Promoting Myogenic Differentiation in the Prevention of Replicative Senescence of Myoblasts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3dab0ee8fa60bd57b8

Aging results in a loss of muscle mass and strength. Myoblasts play an important role in maintaining muscle mass through regenerative processes, which are impaired during aging. Vitamin E potentially ameliorates age-related phenotypes. Hence, this study aimed to determine the effects of the tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) and α-tocopherol (ATF) in protecting myoblasts from replicative senescence and promoting myogenic differentiation. Primary human myoblasts were cultured into young and senescent stages and were then treated with TRF or ATF for 24 h, followed by an analysis of cell proliferation, senescence biomarkers, cellular morphology and differentiation. Our data showed that replicative senescence impaired the normal regenerative processes of myoblasts, resulting in changes in cellular morphology, cell proliferation, senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) expression, myogenic differentiation and myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs) expression. Treatment with both TRF and ATF was beneficial to senescent myoblasts in reclaiming the morphology of young cells, improved cell viability and decreased SA-β-gal expression. However, only TRF treatment increased BrdU incorporation in senescent myoblasts, as well as promoted myogenic differentiation through the modulation of MRFs at the mRNA and protein levels. MYOD1 and MYOG gene expression and myogenin protein expression were modulated in the early phases of myogenic differentiation. In conclusion, the tocotrienol-rich fraction is superior to α-tocopherol in ameliorating replicative senescence-related aberration and promoting differentiation via modulation of MRFs expression, indicating vitamin E potential in modulating replicative senescence of myoblasts.

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<![CDATA[Dendritic Cell-Like Cells Accumulate in Regenerating Murine Skeletal Muscle after Injury and Boost Adaptive Immune Responses Only upon a Microbial Challenge]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daefab0ee8fa60bc08f5

Skeletal muscle injury causes a local sterile inflammatory response. In parallel, a state of immunosuppression develops distal to the site of tissue damage. Granulocytes and monocytes that are rapidly recruited to the site of injury contribute to tissue regeneration. In this study we used a mouse model of traumatic skeletal muscle injury to investigate the previously unknown role of dendritic cells (DCs) that accumulate in injured tissue. We injected the model antigen ovalbumin (OVA) into the skeletal muscle of injured or sham-treated mice to address the ability of these DCs in antigen uptake, migration, and specific T cell activation in the draining popliteal lymph node (pLN). Immature DC-like cells appeared in the skeletal muscle by 4 days after injury and subsequently acquired a mature phenotype, as indicated by increased expression of the costimulatory molecules CD40 and CD86. After the injection of OVA into the muscle, OVA-loaded DCs migrated into the pLN. The migration of DC-like cells from the injured muscle was enhanced in the presence of the microbial stimulus lipopolysaccharide at the site of antigen uptake and triggered an increased OVA-specific T helper cell type 1 (Th1) response in the pLN. Naïve OVA-loaded DCs were superior in Th1-like priming in the pLN when adoptively transferred into the skeletal muscle of injured mice, a finding indicating the relevance of the microenvironment in the regenerating skeletal muscle for increased Th1-like priming. These findings suggest that DC-like cells that accumulate in the regenerating muscle initiate a protective immune response upon microbial challenge and thereby overcome injury-induced immunosuppression.

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<![CDATA[A Long-Gap Peripheral Nerve Injury Therapy Using Human Skeletal Muscle-Derived Stem Cells (Sk-SCs): An Achievement of Significant Morphological, Numerical and Functional Recovery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae6ab0ee8fa60bbd5b4

Losses in vital functions of the somatic motor and sensory nervous system are induced by severe long-gap peripheral nerve transection injury. In such cases, autologous nerve grafts are the gold standard treatment, despite the unavoidable sacrifice of other healthy functions, whereas the prognosis is not always favorable. Here, we use human skeletal muscle-derived stem cells (Sk-SCs) to reconstitute the function after long nerve-gap injury. Muscles samples were obtained from the amputated legs from 9 patients following unforeseen accidents. The Sk-SCs were isolated using conditioned collagenase solution, and sorted as CD34+/45- (Sk-34) and CD34-/45-/29+ (Sk-DN/29+) cells. Cells were separately cultured/expanded under optimal conditions for 2 weeks, then injected into the athymic nude mice sciatic nerve long-gap model (7-mm) bridging an acellular conduit. After 8–12 weeks, active cell engraftment was observed only in the Sk-34 cell transplanted group, showing preferential differentiation into Schwann cells and perineurial/endoneurial cells, as well as formation of the myelin sheath and perineurium/endoneurium surrounding regenerated axons, resulted in 87% of numerical recovery. Differentiation into vascular cell lineage (pericyte and endothelial cells) were also observed. A significant tetanic tension recovery (over 90%) of downstream muscles following electrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve (at upper portion of the gap) was also achieved. In contrast, Sk-DN/29+ cells were completely eliminated during the first 4 weeks, but relatively higher numerical (83% vs. 41% in axon) and functional (80% vs. 60% in tetanus) recovery than control were observed. Noteworthy, significant increase in the formation of vascular networks in the conduit during the early stage (first 2 weeks) of recovery was observed in both groups with the expression of key factors (mRNA and protein levels), suggesting the paracrine effects to angiogenesis. These results suggested that the human Sk-SCs may be a practical source for autologous stem cell therapy following severe peripheral nerve injury.

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<![CDATA[Characterization and Functional Analysis of Extracellular Vesicles and Muscle-Abundant miRNAs (miR-1, miR-133a, and miR-206) in C2C12 Myocytes and mdx Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadcab0ee8fa60bba122

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive neuromuscular disorder. Here, we show that the CD63 antigen, which is located on the surface of extracellular vesicles (EVs), is associated with increased levels of muscle-abundant miRNAs, namely myomiRs miR-1, miR-133a, and miR-206, in the sera of DMD patients and mdx mice. Furthermore, the release of EVs from the murine myoblast C2C12 cell line was found to be modulated by intracellular ceramide levels in a Ca2+-dependent manner. Next, to investigate the effects of EVs on cell survival, C2C12 myoblasts and myotubes were cultured with EVs from the sera of mdx mice or C2C12 cells overexpressing myomiRs in presence of cellular stresses. Both the exposure of C2C12 myoblasts and myotubes to EVs from the serum of mdx mice, and the overexpression of miR-133a in C2C12 cells in presence of cellular stress resulted in a significant decrease in cell death. Finally, to assess whether miRNAs regulate skeletal muscle regeneration in vivo, we intraperitoneally injected GW4869 (an inhibitor of exosome secretion) into mdx mice for 5 and 10 days. Levels of miRNAs and creatine kinase in the serum of GW4869-treated mdx mice were significantly downregulated compared with those of controls. The tibialis anterior muscles of the GW4869-treated mdx mice showed a robust decrease in Evans blue dye uptake. Collectively, these results indicate that EVs and myomiRs might protect the skeletal muscle of mdx mice from degeneration.

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<![CDATA[Notch ligands regulate the muscle stem-like state ex vivo but are not sufficient for retaining regenerative capacity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf796

Myogenic stem cells are a promising avenue for the treatment of muscular disorders. Freshly isolated muscle stem cells have a remarkable engraftment ability in vivo, but their cell number is limited. Current conventional culture conditions do not allow muscle stem cells to expand in vitro with their bona fide engraftment efficiency, requiring the improvement of culture procedures for achieving successful cell-therapy for muscle disorders. Here we expanded mouse muscle stem cells and human myoblasts with Notch ligands, DLL1, DLL4, and JAG1 to activate Notch signaling in vitro and to investigate whether these cells could retain their engraftment efficiency. Notch signaling promotes the expansion of Pax7+MyoD- mouse muscle stem-like cells and inhibits differentiation even after passage in vitro. Treatment with Notch ligands induced the Notch target genes and generated PAX7+MYOD- stem-like cells from human myoblasts previously cultured on conventional culture plates. However, cells treated with Notch ligands exhibit a stem cell-like state in culture, yet their regenerative ability was less than that of freshly isolated cells in vivo and was comparable to that of the control. These unexpected findings suggest that artificial maintenance of Notch signaling alone is insufficient for improving regenerative capacity of mouse and human donor-muscle cells and suggest that combinatorial events are critical to achieve muscle stem cell and myoblast engraftment potential.

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<![CDATA[Electromyographic Permutation Entropy Quantifies Diaphragmatic Denervation and Reinnervation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daaeab0ee8fa60baa721

Spontaneous reinnervation after diaphragmatic paralysis due to trauma, surgery, tumors and spinal cord injuries is frequently observed. A possible explanation could be collateral reinnervation, since the diaphragm is commonly double-innervated by the (accessory) phrenic nerve. Permutation entropy (PeEn), a complexity measure for time series, may reflect a functional state of neuromuscular transmission by quantifying the complexity of interactions across neural and muscular networks. In an established rat model, electromyographic signals of the diaphragm after phrenicotomy were analyzed using PeEn quantifying denervation and reinnervation. Thirty-three anesthetized rats were unilaterally phrenicotomized. After 1, 3, 9, 27 and 81 days, diaphragmatic electromyographic PeEn was analyzed in vivo from sternal, mid-costal and crural areas of both hemidiaphragms. After euthanasia of the animals, both hemidiaphragms were dissected for fiber type evaluation. The electromyographic incidence of an accessory phrenic nerve was 76%. At day 1 after phrenicotomy, PeEn (normalized values) was significantly diminished in the sternal (median: 0.69; interquartile range: 0.66–0.75) and mid-costal area (0.68; 0.66–0.72) compared to the non-denervated side (0.84; 0.78–0.90) at threshold p<0.05. In the crural area, innervated by the accessory phrenic nerve, PeEn remained unchanged (0.79; 0.72–0.86). During reinnervation over 81 days, PeEn normalized in the mid-costal area (0.84; 0.77–0.86), whereas it remained reduced in the sternal area (0.77; 0.70–0.81). Fiber type grouping, a histological sign for reinnervation, was found in the mid-costal area in 20% after 27 days and in 80% after 81 days. Collateral reinnervation can restore diaphragm activity after phrenicotomy. Electromyographic PeEn represents a new, distinctive assessment characterizing intramuscular function following denervation and reinnervation.

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<![CDATA[Ck2-Dependent Phosphorylation Is Required to Maintain Pax7 Protein Levels in Proliferating Muscle Progenitors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9cab0ee8fa60ba440b

Skeletal muscle regeneration and long term maintenance is directly link to the balance between self-renewal and differentiation of resident adult stem cells known as satellite cells. In turn, satellite cell fate is influenced by a functional interaction between the transcription factor Pax7 and members of the MyoD family of muscle regulatory factors. Thus, changes in the Pax7-to-MyoD protein ratio may act as a molecular rheostat fine-tuning acquisition of lineage identity while preventing precocious terminal differentiation. Pax7 is expressed in quiescent and proliferating satellite cells, while its levels decrease sharply in differentiating progenitors Pax7 is maintained in cells (re)acquiring quiescence. While the mechanisms regulating Pax7 levels based on differentiation status are not well understood, we have recently described that Pax7 levels are directly regulated by the ubiquitin-ligase Nedd4, thus promoting proteasome-dependent Pax7 degradation in differentiating satellite cells. Here we show that Pax7 levels are maintained in proliferating muscle progenitors by a mechanism involving casein kinase 2-dependent Pax7 phosphorylation at S201. Point mutations preventing S201 phosphorylation or casein kinase 2 inhibition result in decreased Pax7 protein in proliferating muscle progenitors. Accordingly, this correlates directly with increased Pax7 ubiquitination. Finally, Pax7 down regulation induced by casein kinase 2 inhibition results in precocious myogenic induction, indicating early commitment to terminal differentiation. These observations highlight the critical role of post translational regulation of Pax7 as a molecular switch controlling muscle progenitor fate.

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<![CDATA[Effect of the IL-1 Receptor Antagonist Kineret® on Disease Phenotype in mdx Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da59ab0ee8fa60b8f71c

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked muscle disease caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. The pathology of DMD manifests in patients with progressive muscle weakness, loss of ambulation and ultimately death. One of the characteristics of DMD is muscle inflammation, and dystrophin-deficient skeletal muscles produce higher levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 1β (IL-1β) in response to toll like receptor (TLR) stimulation compared to controls; therefore, blocking the IL-1β pathway could improve the disease phenotype in mdx mice, a mouse model of DMD. Kineret® or IL-1Ra is a recombinant IL-1 receptor antagonist approved by the FDA for treating rheumatoid arthritis. To determine the efficacy of IL-1Ra in a DMD model, we administered subcutaneous injections of saline control or IL-1Ra (25 mg/kg/day) to mdx mice daily for 45 days beginning at 5 weeks of age. Functional and histological parameters were measured at the conclusion of the study. IL-1Ra only partially inhibited this signaling pathway in this study; however, there were still interesting observations to be noted. For example, although not significantly changed, splenocytes from the IL-1Ra-treated group secreted less IL-1β after LPS stimulation compared to control mice indicating a blunted response and incomplete inhibition of the pathway (37% decrease). In addition, normalized forelimb grip strength was significantly increased in IL-1Ra-treated mice. There were no changes in EDL muscle-specific force measurements, histological parameters, or motor coordination assessments in the dystrophic mice after IL-1Ra treatment. There was a significant 27% decrease in the movement time and total distance traveled by the IL-1Ra treated mice, correlating with previous studies examining effects of IL-1 on behavior. Our studies indicate partial blocking of IL-1β with IL-1Ra significantly altered only a few behavioral and strength related disease parameters; however, treatment with inhibitors that completely block IL-1β, pathways upstream of IL-1β production or combining various inhibitors may produce more favorable outcomes.

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<![CDATA[The efficacy of a scaffold-free Bio 3D conduit developed from human fibroblasts on peripheral nerve regeneration in a rat sciatic nerve model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbb96

Background

Although autologous nerve grafting is the gold standard treatment of peripheral nerve injuries, several alternative methods have been developed, including nerve conduits that use supportive cells. However, the seeding efficacy and viability of supportive cells injected in nerve grafts remain unclear. Here, we focused on a novel completely biological, tissue-engineered, scaffold-free conduit.

Methods

We developed six scaffold-free conduits from human normal dermal fibroblasts using a Bio 3D Printer. Twelve adult male rats with immune deficiency underwent mid-thigh-level transection of the right sciatic nerve. The resulting 5-mm nerve gap was bridged using 8-mm Bio 3D conduits (Bio 3D group, n = 6) and silicone tube (silicone group, n = 6). Several assessments were conducted to examine nerve regeneration eight weeks post-surgery.

Results

Kinematic analysis revealed that the toe angle to the metatarsal bone at the final segment of the swing phase was significantly higher in the Bio 3D group than the silicone group (-35.78 ± 10.68 versus -62.48 ± 6.15, respectively; p < 0.01). Electrophysiological studies revealed significantly higher compound muscle action potential in the Bio 3D group than the silicone group (53.60 ± 26.36% versus 2.93 ± 1.84%; p < 0.01). Histological and morphological studies revealed neural cell expression in all regions of the regenerated nerves and the presence of many well-myelinated axons in the Bio 3D group. The wet muscle weight of the tibialis anterior muscle was significantly higher in the Bio 3D group than the silicone group (0.544 ± 0.063 versus 0.396 ± 0.031, respectively; p < 0.01).

Conclusions

We confirmed that scaffold-free Bio 3D conduits composed entirely of fibroblast cells promote nerve regeneration in a rat sciatic nerve model.

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<![CDATA[Genetic Evidence That Captured Retroviral Envelope syncytins Contribute to Myoblast Fusion and Muscle Sexual Dimorphism in Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da80ab0ee8fa60b9a652

Syncytins are envelope genes from endogenous retroviruses, “captured” for a role in placentation. They mediate cell-cell fusion, resulting in the formation of a syncytium (the syncytiotrophoblast) at the fetomaternal interface. These genes have been found in all placental mammals in which they have been searched for. Cell-cell fusion is also pivotal for muscle fiber formation and repair, where the myotubes are formed from the fusion of mononucleated myoblasts into large multinucleated structures. Here we show, taking advantage of mice knocked out for syncytins, that these captured genes contribute to myoblast fusion, with a >20% reduction in muscle mass, mean muscle fiber area and number of nuclei per fiber in knocked out mice for one of the two murine syncytin genes. Remarkably, this reduction is only observed in males, which subsequently show muscle quantitative traits more similar to those of females. In addition, we show that syncytins also contribute to muscle repair after cardiotoxin-induced injury, with again a male-specific effect on the rate and extent of regeneration. Finally, ex vivo experiments carried out on murine myoblasts demonstrate the direct involvement of syncytins in fusion, with a >40% reduction in fusion index upon addition of siRNA against both syncytins. Importantly, similar effects are observed with primary myoblasts from sheep, dog and human, with a 20–40% reduction upon addition of siRNA against the corresponding syncytins. Altogether, these results show a direct contribution of the fusogenic syncytins to myogenesis, with a demonstrated male-dependence of the effect in mice, suggesting that these captured genes could be responsible for the muscle sexual dimorphism observed in placental mammals.

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