Satellite cells isolated from aged or dystrophic muscle exhibit a reduced capacity to promote angiogenesis in vitro

R. P. Rhoads, K. L. Flann, T. R. Cardinal, C. R. Rathbone, X. Liu, R. E. Allen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Scopus citations


    Deficits in skeletal muscle function exist during aging and muscular dystrophy, and suboptimal function has been related to factors such as atrophy, excessive inflammation and fibrosis. Ineffective muscle regeneration underlies each condition and has been attributed to a deficit in myogenic potential of resident stem cells or satellite cells. In addition to reduced myogenic activity, satellite cells may also lose the ability to communicate with vascular cells for coordination of myogenesis and angiogenesis and restoration of proper muscle function. Objectives of the current study were to determine the angiogenic-promoting capacity of satellite cells from two states characterized by dysfunctional skeletal muscle repair, aging and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. An in vitro culture model composed of satellite cells or their conditioned media and rat adipose tissue microvascular fragments (MVF) was used to examine this relationship. Microvascular fragments cultured in the presence of rat satellite cells from adult muscle donors (9-12. month of age) exhibited greater indices of angiogenesis (endothelial cell sprouting, tubule formation and extensive branching) than MVF co-cultured with satellite cells from aged muscle donors (24. month of age). We sought to determine if the differential degree of angiogenesis we observed in the co-culture setting was due to soluble factors produced by each satellite cell age group. Similar to the co-culture experiment, conditioned media produced by adult satellite cells promoted greater angiogenesis than that of aged satellite cells. Next, we examined differences in angiogenesis-stimulating ability of satellite cells from 12 mo old MDX mice or age-matched wild-type mice. A reduction in angiogenesis activity of media conditioned by satellite cells from dystrophic muscle was observed as compared to healthy muscle. Finally, we found reduced gene expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in both aged and dystrophic satellite cells compared to their adult and normal counterparts, respectively. These results indicate that functional deficits in satellite cell activities during aging and diseased muscle may extend to their ability to communicate with other cells in their environment, in this case cells involved in angiogenesis.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)399-404
    Number of pages6
    JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Oct 25 2013


    • Aging
    • Angiogenesis
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • Satellite cell
    • Skeletal muscle

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biophysics
    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology


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