Existing in vitro models of human skeletal muscle cannot recapitulate the organization and function of native muscle, limiting their use in physiological and pharmacological studies. Here, we demonstrate engineering of electrically and chemically responsive, contractile human muscle tissues ('myobundles') using primary myogenic cells. These biomimetic constructs exhibit aligned architecture, multinucleated and striated myofibers, and a Pax7+ cell pool. They contract spontaneously and respond to electrical stimuli with twitch and tetanic contractions. Positive correlation between contractile force and GCaMP6-reported calcium responses enables non-invasive tracking of myobundle function and drug response. During culture, myobundles maintain functional acetylcholine receptors and structurally and functionally mature, evidenced by increased myofiber diameter and improved calcium handling and contractile strength. In response to diversely acting drugs, myobundles undergo dose-dependent hypertrophy or toxic myopathy similar to clinical outcomes. Human myobundles provide an enabling platform for predictive drug and toxicology screening and development of novel therapeutics for muscle-related disorders.
Human subjects: Human skeletal muscle samples were obtained through standard needle biopsy or surgical waste under Duke University IRB approved protocols (Pro00048509 and Pro00012628).
- Amy J Wagers, Harvard University, United States
© 2015, Madden et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
During evolution, animals have returned from land to water, adapting with morphological modifications to life in an aquatic environment. We compared the osteochondral units of the humeral head of marine and terrestrial mammals across species spanning a wide range of body weights, focusing on microstructural organization and biomechanical performance. Aquatic mammals feature cartilage with essentially random collagen fiber configuration, lacking the depth-dependent, arcade-like organization characteristic of terrestrial mammalian species. They have a less stiff articular cartilage at equilibrium with a significantly lower peak modulus, and at the osteochondral interface do not have a calcified cartilage layer, displaying only a thin, highly porous subchondral bone plate. This totally different constitution of the osteochondral unit in aquatic mammals reflects that accommodation of loading is the primordial function of the osteochondral unit. Recognizing the crucial importance of the microarchitecture-function relationship is pivotal for understanding articular biology and, hence, for the development of durable functional regenerative approaches for treatment of joint damage, which are thus far lacking.
In vitro culture systems that structurally model human myogenesis and promote PAX7+ myogenic progenitor maturation have not been established. Here we report that human skeletal muscle organoids can be differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cell lines to contain paraxial mesoderm and neuromesodermal progenitors and develop into organized structures reassembling neural plate border and dermomyotome. Culture conditions instigate neural lineage arrest and promote fetal hypaxial myogenesis toward limb axial anatomical identity, with generation of sustainable uncommitted PAX7 myogenic progenitors and fibroadipogenic (PDGFRa+) progenitor populations equivalent to those from the second trimester of human gestation. Single-cell comparison to human fetal and adult myogenic progenitor /satellite cells reveals distinct molecular signatures for non-dividing myogenic progenitors in activated (CD44High/CD98+/MYOD1+) and dormant (PAX7High/FBN1High/SPRY1High) states. Our approach provides a robust 3D in vitro developmental system for investigating muscle tissue morphogenesis and homeostasis.