Impacts of dietary obesity on muscle stem cell behaviors

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Virginia Tech


Occurrence of obesity has steadily increased in the human population and, along with it, associated health complications such as systemic insulin resistance, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Obesity is a complex metabolic disorder that often leads to chronic inflammation and an overall decline in human and animal health. In mouse skeletal muscle, obesity has been shown to impair muscle regeneration after injury, however, the mechanism underlying these changes in satellite cell (SC) biology have yet to be explored. To test the negative impacts of obesity on SC behaviors, we fed C57BL/6 mice normal chow (NC, control) or high-fat diet (HFD) for 10 wks and performed SC proliferation and differentiation assays in vitro. SCs from HFD mice formed colonies with smaller numbers (P < 0.001) compared to those isolated from NC mice, and this observation was confirmed (P < 0.05) by BrdU incorporation. Moreover, in vitro differentiation assays consisting of equally seeded SCs derived from NC and HFD muscles showed that HFD SCs exhibited compromised (P < 0.001) differentiation capacity compared to NC SCs. Immunocytochemical staining of cultured SCs demonstrated that the percentage of Pax7+/MyoD- (self-renewed) SC subpopulation decreased (P < 0.001) with HFD treatment group compared to the control. In single fiber explants, a higher ratio of SCs experienced apoptotic events as revealed by the expression of cleaved caspase 3 (P < 0.001). To investigate further the impact of obesity on SC quiescence and cycling properties in vivo, we used an inducible H2B-GFP mouse model to trace the turnover rate of GFP and thus cell division under normal and obese conditions. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that SCs from HFD treatment cycled faster (P < 0.001) than their NC counterparts, as reflected by the quicker loss of the GFP intensity. To test for SC muscle regenerative capacity in vivo, we used cardiotoxin (CTX) to induce wide-spread muscle damage in the tibialis anterior muscle. After analysis we found that HFD leads to a compromised, though mild, impairment in muscle regeneration. Taken together, these findings suggest that obesity negatively affects SC quiescence, proliferation, differentiation, and self-renewal in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo.



satellite cell, Obesity, muscle regeneration