Acute skeletal muscle injury is followed by an inflammatory response, removal of damaged tissue, and the generation of new muscle fibers by resident muscle stem cells, a process well characterized in murine injury models. Inflammatory cells are needed to remove the debris at the site of injury and provide signals that are beneficial for repair. However, they also release chemokines, reactive oxygen species as well as enzymes for clearance of damaged cells and fibers, which muscle stem cells have to withstand in order to regenerate the muscle. We show here that MET and CXCR4 cooperate to protect muscle stem cells against the adverse environment encountered during muscle repair. This powerful cyto-protective role was revealed by the genetic ablation of Met and Cxcr4 in muscle stem cells of mice, which resulted in severe apoptosis during early stages of regeneration. TNFα neutralizing antibodies rescued the apoptosis, indicating that TNFα provides crucial cell-death signals during muscle repair that are counteracted by MET and CXCR4. We conclude that muscle stem cells require MET and CXCR4 to protect them against the harsh inflammatory environment encountered in an acute muscle injury.
Data are available in the Article, Supplementary Information or from the corresponding authors (CB) upon reasonable request. Source data are provided with this paper.
- Carmen Birchmeier-Kohler
- Carmen Birchmeier-Kohler
- Carmen Birchmeier-Kohler
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All experiments were conducted according to regulations established by the Max-Delbrück- Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and the Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales (0320/10; 0130/13).
- Gabrielle Kardon, University of Utah, United States
© 2021, Lahmann 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.
Zebrafish are an established research organism that has made many contributions to our understanding of vertebrate tissue and organ development, yet there are still significant gaps in our understanding of the genes that regulate gonad development, sex, and reproduction. Unlike the development of many organs, such as the brain and heart that form during the first few days of development, zebrafish gonads do not begin to form until the larval stage (≥5 dpf). Thus, forward genetic screens have identified very few genes required for gonad development. In addition, bulk RNA sequencing studies which identify genes expressed in the gonads do not have the resolution necessary to define minor cell populations that may play significant roles in development and function of these organs. To overcome these limitations, we have used single-cell RNA sequencing to determine the transcriptomes of cells isolated from juvenile zebrafish ovaries. This resulted in the profiles of 10,658 germ cells and 14,431 somatic cells. Our germ cell data represents all developmental stages from germline stem cells to early meiotic oocytes. Our somatic cell data represents all known somatic cell types, including follicle cells, theca cells and ovarian stromal cells. Further analysis revealed an unexpected number of cell subpopulations within these broadly defined cell types. To further define their functional significance, we determined the location of these cell subpopulations within the ovary. Finally, we used gene knockout experiments to determine the roles of foxl2l and wnt9b for oocyte development and sex determination and/or differentiation, respectively. Our results reveal novel insights into zebrafish ovarian development and function and the transcriptome profiles will provide a valuable resource for future studies.
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