Skeletal muscle provides the contractile force necessary for not only locomotion but also maintenance of posture and respiration. Diseases that weaken or damage skeletal muscle therefore decrease not only quality of life but are, in cases such as Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, fatal. Differentiated muscle cells are terminally postmitotic and cannot generate new myonuclei to replace those lost to damage or disease;a population of adult stem cells termed satellite cells serves to supply new committed muscle cells for muscle hypertrophy, repair, and regeneration. Satellite cells are distributed throughout the muscle and it is well- established that if they are within an area of muscle that is damaged they will activate from their usual quiescent state and proliferate to form a pool of replacement myoblasts, which will differentiate into new muscle fibers or fuse with damaged ones to rapidly and effectively repair the muscle damage. An area of increasing interest is the potential for satellite cells distal to an area of damage to be recruited and relocated through cell migration;this would enhance the efficiency of satellite cell-mediated muscle regeneration. Therapeutic engraftments studies in which satellite cells are injected into dystrophic muscle have met with little success, and one reason has been a failure of injected cells to spread and efficiently engraft. The experiments we propose will explore the ability of factors released by damaged muscle either to promote general motility of satellite cells or to stimulate homing of satellite cels to a specific area;these studies are necessary to define the number and nature of the factors that would require further in-depth study in a later proposal. An understanding of the capacity of satellite cells to move and relocate in vivo, and the role those two activities play in muscle regeneration, would therefore add not only to basic understanding of muscle regeneration but also impact clinical therapies for DMD and other muscle diseases. In the course of these experiments, we are also working towards improved methods for automated tracking of cells in culture, in collaboration with Dr. Kanappan Palaniappan. We will produce an extremely large dataset of tracked cells, which is necessary to develop algorithms capable of replicating tracking choices made by a human researcher. Given the dramatic increase in both video data in multiple contexts and interest in cell motility in this and other systems, software tools that can accurately detect and track changes in position in a complex, high-background environment will be useful to many groups working in stem cells, development, and cell biology.

Public Health Relevance

In addition to addressing an underexplored facet of basic research into the mechanisms of adult myogenesis, this project has high potential to contribute to the development of satellite cell-based therapies for diseases such as the muscular dystrophies. A critical area of concern in current adult myoblast and muscle- derived stem cell engraftment procedures is the unmet requirement for injected cells to, at least, disperse broadly from the injection site or, at best, actively home to either clinically-defined sites or sites of maximum damage. By providing insight into the specific guidance cues that control satellite cell movement and spread, this work will ideally suggest ways to modify current myoblast engraftment protocols to enhance their therapeutic effectiveness.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Skeletal Muscle and Exercise Physiology Study Section (SMEP)
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Nuckolls, Glen H
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University of Missouri-Columbia
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Bustos, Francisco; de la Vega, Eduardo; Cabezas, Felipe et al. (2015) NEDD4 Regulates PAX7 Levels Promoting Activation of the Differentiation Program in Skeletal Muscle Precursors. Stem Cells 33:3138-51
Lund, Dane K; Mouly, Vincent; Cornelison, D D W (2014) MMP-14 is necessary but not sufficient for invasion of three-dimensional collagen by human muscle satellite cells. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 307:C140-9
Lund, Dane K; Cornelison, D D W (2013) Enter the matrix: shape, signal and superhighway. FEBS J 280:4089-99