This study evaluated the effect of muscle satellite cells (MSCs) overexpressing myogenin (MyoG) on denervated muscle atrophy. Rat MSCs were isolated and transfected with the MyoG-EGFP plasmid vector GV143. MyoG-transfected MSCs (MTMs) were transplanted into rat gastrocnemius muscles at 1 week after surgical denervation. Controls included injections of untransfected MSCs or the vehicle only. Muscles were harvested and analyzed at 2, 4, and 24 weeks post-transplantation. Immunofluorescence confirmed MyoG overexpression in MTMs. The muscle wet weight ratio was significantly reduced at 2 weeks after MTM injection (67.17±6.79) compared with muscles injected with MSCs (58.83±5.31) or the vehicle (53.00±7.67; t=2.37, P=0.04 and t=3.39, P=0.007, respectively). The muscle fiber cross-sectional area was also larger at 2 weeks after MTM injection (2.63×10³±0.39×10³) compared with MSC injection (1.99×10³±0.58×10³) or the vehicle only (1.57×10³±0.47×10³; t=2.24, P=0.049 and t=4.22, P=0.002, respectively). At 4 and 24 weeks post-injection, the muscle mass and fiber cross-sectional area were similar across all three experimental groups. Immunohistochemistry showed that the MTM group had larger MyoG-positive fibers. The MTM group (3.18±1.13) also had higher expression of MyoG mRNA than other groups (1.41±0.65 and 1.03±0.19) at 2 weeks after injection (t=2.72, P=0.04). Transplanted MTMs delayed short-term atrophy of denervated muscles. This approach can be optimized as a novel stand-alone therapy or as a bridge to surgical re-innervation of damaged muscles.
Shen, H., Lv, Y., Shen, X. Q., Xu, J. H., Lu, H., Fu, L. C., & Duan, T. (2016). Implantation of muscle satellite cells overexpressing myogenin improves denervated muscle atrophy in rats. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research = Revista Brasileira de Pesquisas Medicas e Biologicas, 49(2), e5124. https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431X20155124