The influence of direct and indirect fibroblast cell contact on human myogenic cell behaviour and gene expression in vitro

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Cecilie J L Bechshøft, Peter Schjerling, Michael Kjaer, Abigail L Mackey

Underpinning skeletal muscle plasticity is the interplay between many cell types, of which fibroblasts are emerging as potent players, both negatively in the development of fibrosis but also positively in stimulating muscle repair through enhancing myogenesis. The mechanisms behind this interaction however remain unknown. To investigate this, waste hamstring muscle tissue was obtained from 8 healthy young men undergoing reconstructive anterior cruciate ligament surgery and primary myoblasts and fibroblasts were isolated. Myoblasts were cultured alone or with fibroblasts, either in direct or indirect contact (separated by an insert with a permeable membrane). The myogenesis parameters proliferation, differentiation and fusion were determined from immunostained cells, while, in replicate samples, gene expression levels of GAPDH, Ki67, Pax7, MyoD, myogenin, myomaker, MHC IΒ, TCF7L2, COL1A1 and p16 were determined by RT-PCR. We found only trends for an influence of skeletal muscle fibroblasts on myogenic cell proliferation and differentiation. While greater mRNA levels of GAPDH, Pax7, MyoD, myogenin, and MHC IΒ were observed in myogenic cells in indirect contact with fibroblasts (insert) when compared to cells cultured alone, a similar effect of an empty insert was also observed. In conclusion we find very little influence of skeletal muscle fibroblasts on myoblasts derived from the same tissue, although it cannot be excluded that a different outcome would be seen under less optimal myogenic growth conditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 May 2019

ID: 218520729