Aged tendons have disrupted homeostasis, increased injury risk, and impaired healing capacity. Understanding mechanisms of homeostatic disruption is crucial for developing therapeutics to retain tendon health through the lifespan. Here, we developed a novel model of accelerated tendon extracellular matrix (ECM) aging via depletion of Scleraxis-lineage cells in young mice (Scx-DTR). Scx-DTR recapitulates many aspects of tendon aging including comparable declines in cellularity, alterations in ECM structure, organization, and composition. Single cell RNA sequencing demonstrated a conserved decline in tenocytes associated with ECM biosynthesis in aged and Scx-DTR tendons, identifying the requirement for Scleraxis-lineage cells during homeostasis. However, the remaining cells in aged and Scx-DTR tendons demonstrate functional divergence. Aged tenocytes become pro-inflammatory and lose proteostasis. In contrast, tenocytes from Scx-DTR tendons demonstrate enhanced remodeling capacity. Collectively, this study defines Scx-DTR as a novel model of accelerated tendon ECM aging and identifies novel biological intervention points to maintain tendon function through the lifespan.
Single cell RNA sequencing data has been deposited at Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) (Accession # GSE214929) and are publicly available as of the date of publication. The mass spectrometry proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium via the PRIDE 38 partner repository with the dataset identifier PXD037230.
Scleraxis-lineage cells are required for tendon homeostasis and their depletion induces an accelerated extracellular matrix aging phenotypeNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE214929.
Korcari A, Nichols AEC, Buckley MR, Loiselle AEPRIDE Repository, PXD037230.
- Alayna E Loiselle
- Alayna E Loiselle
- Anne EC Nichols
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All animal studies were approved by the University Committee for Animal Resources (UCAR) (protocol 2014-004E)
- Mei Wan, Johns Hopkins University, United States
- Received: October 13, 2022
- Accepted: January 18, 2023
- Accepted Manuscript published: January 19, 2023 (version 1)
© 2023, Korcari 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.
In Drosophila melanogaster embryos, somatic versus germline identity is the first cell fate decision. Zygotic genome activation (ZGA) orchestrates regionalized gene expression, imparting specific identity on somatic cells. ZGA begins with a minor wave that commences at nuclear cycle (NC)8 under the guidance of chromatin accessibility factors (Zelda, CLAMP, GAF), followed by the major wave during NC14. By contrast, primordial germ cell (PGC) specification requires maternally deposited and posteriorly anchored germline determinants. This is accomplished by a centrosome coordinated release and sequestration of germ plasm during the precocious cellularization of PGCs in NC10. Here, we report a novel requirement for Zelda and CLAMP during the establishment of the germline/soma distinction. When their activity is compromised, PGC determinants are not properly sequestered, and specification is disrupted. Conversely, the spreading of PGC determinants from the posterior pole adversely influences transcription in the neighboring somatic nuclei. These reciprocal aberrations can be correlated with defects in centrosome duplication/separation that are known to induce inappropriate transmission of the germ plasm. Interestingly, consistent with the ability of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling to influence specification of embryonic PGCs, reduction in the transcript levels of a BMP family ligand, decapentaplegic (dpp), is exacerbated at the posterior pole.
Adult skeletal muscle harbors a population of muscle stem cells (MuSCs) that are required to repair or reform multinucleated myofibers after tissue injury. In youth, MuSCs return to a reversible state of cell cycle arrest termed 'quiescence' after injury resolution. By contrast, a proportion of MuSCs in aged muscle remain in a semi-activated state, causing a premature response to subsequent injury cues that results in incomplete tissue repair and eventual stem cell depletion. Regulation of the balance between MuSC quiescence and activation in youth and in age may hold the key to restoring tissue homeostasis with age, but is incompletely understood. To fill this gap, we developed a simple and tractable in vitro method, with a 96-well footprint, to rapidly inactivate MuSCs freshly isolated from young murine skeletal muscle tissue, and return them to a quiescent-like state for at least one-week, which we name mini-IDLE (Inactivation and Dormancy LEveraged in vitro). This was achieved by introducing MuSCs into a three-dimensional (3D) bioartificial niche comprised of a thin sheet of multinucleated mouse myotubes, which we iterate, and analyze temporally, to show that these in vivo niche features provide the minimal cues necessary to inactivate MuSCs and induce quiescence. By seeding the 3D myotube sheets with different starting numbers of MuSCs, the assay revealed cellular heterogeneity and population-level adaptation activities that converged on a common steady-state niche repopulation density; behaviors previously observed only in vivo. Quiescence-associated hallmarks included a Pax7+CalcR+DDX6+MyoD-c-FOS- molecular signature, in vivo quiescent-like morphologies including oval-shaped nuclei and long cytoplasmic projections with N-cadherin+ tips, as well as the acquisition of polarized niche markers. Leveraging high-content imaging and bespoke CellProfilerTM-based image analysis pipelines, we demonstrate a relationship between morphology and cell fate signatures opening up the possibility of real-time morphology-based screening. When MuSCs from aged muscle were introduced into the assay, they displayed aberrant proliferative activities, delayed inactivation kinetics, persistence of activation-associated morphologies, and population depletion; quiescence-associated defects that we show are rescued by wortmannin treatment. Thus, the miniaturized assay offers an unprecedented opportunity to systematically investigate long-standing queries in areas such as regulation of adult stem cell pool size and functional heterogeneity within the MuSC population, and to uncover regulators of quiescence in youth and in age.