Transcriptional and functional differences in stem cell populations isolated from extraocular and limb muscles.
ABSTRACT: The extraocular muscles (EOMs) are a distinct muscle group that displays an array of unique contractile, structural, and regenerative properties. They also have differential sensitivity to certain diseases and are enigmatically spared in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The EOMs are so distinct from other skeletal muscles that the term "allotype" has been coined to highlight EOM group-specific properties. We hypothesized that increased and distinct stem cells may underlie the continual myogenesis noted in EOM. The side population (SP) stem cells were isolated and studied. EOMs had 15x higher SP cell content compared with limb muscles. Expression profiling revealed 348 transcripts that define the EOM-SP transcriptome. Over 92% of transcripts were SP specific, because they were absent in previous whole muscle microarray studies. Cultured EOM-SP cells revealed superior in vitro proliferative capacity. Finally, assays of the committed progenitors or satellite cells performed on myofibers isolated from EOM and limb muscles independently validated the increased proliferative capacity of these muscles. We suggest a model in which unique EOM stem cells contribute to the continual myogenesis noted in EOM and consistent with a role for their sparing in DMD. We believe the greater numbers of stem cells, their unique transcriptome, the greater proliferative capacity of EOM stem cells, and the greater number of satellite cells also offer clues for novel cell-based therapeutic strategies.
Project description:Extraocular muscles (EOMs) are highly specialized skeletal muscles that originate from the head mesoderm and control eye movements. EOMs are uniquely spared in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and animal models of dystrophin deficiency. Specific traits of myogenic progenitors may be determinants of this preferential sparing, but very little is known about the myogenic cells in this muscle group. While satellite cells (SCs) have long been recognized as the main source of myogenic cells in adult muscle, most of the knowledge about these cells comes from the prototypic limb muscles. In this study, we show that EOMs, regardless of their distinctive Pax3-negative lineage origin, harbor SCs that share a common signature (Pax7(+), Ki67(-), Nestin-GFP(+), Myf5(nLacZ+), MyoD-positive lineage origin) with their limb and diaphragm somite-derived counterparts, but are remarkably endowed with a high proliferative potential as revealed in cell culture assays. Specifically, we demonstrate that in adult as well as in aging mice, EOM SCs possess a superior expansion capacity, contributing significantly more proliferating, differentiating and renewal progeny than their limb and diaphragm counterparts. These robust growth and renewal properties are maintained by EOM SCs isolated from dystrophin-null (mdx) mice, while SCs from muscles affected by dystrophin deficiency (i.e., limb and diaphragm) expand poorly in vitro. EOM SCs also retain higher performance in cell transplantation assays in which donor cells were engrafted into host mdx limb muscle. Collectively, our study provides a comprehensive picture of EOM myogenic progenitors, showing that while these cells share common hallmarks with the prototypic SCs in somite-derived muscles, they distinctively feature robust growth and renewal capacities that warrant the title of high performance myo-engines and promote consideration of their properties for developing new approaches in cell-based therapy to combat skeletal muscle wasting.
Project description:Binocular vision requires intricate control of eye movement to align overlapping visual fields for fusion in the visual cortex, and each eye is controlled by 6 extraocular muscles (EOMs). Disorders of EOMs are an important cause of symptomatic vision loss. Importantly, EOMs represent specialized skeletal muscles with distinct gene expression profile and susceptibility to neuromuscular disorders. We aim to investigate and describe the anatomy of adult zebrafish extraocular muscles (EOMs) to enable comparison with human EOM anatomy and facilitate the use of zebrafish as a model for EOM research. Using differential interference contrast (DIC), epifluorescence microscopy, and precise sectioning techniques, we evaluate the anatomy of zebrafish EOM origin, muscle course, and insertion on the eye. Immunofluorescence is used to identify components of tendons, basement membrane and neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), and to analyze myofiber characteristics. We find that adult zebrafish EOM insertions on the globe parallel the organization of human EOMs, including the close proximity of specific EOM insertions to one another. However, analysis of EOM origins reveals important differences between human and zebrafish, such as the common rostral origin of both oblique muscles and the caudal origin of the lateral rectus muscles. Thrombospondin 4 marks the EOM tendons in regions that are highly innervated, and laminin marks the basement membrane, enabling evaluation of myofiber size and distribution. The NMJs appear to include both en plaque and en grappe synapses, while NMJ density is much higher in EOMs than in somatic muscles. In conclusion, zebrafish and human EOM anatomy are generally homologous, supporting the use of zebrafish for studying EOM biology. However, anatomic differences exist, revealing divergent evolutionary pressures.
Project description:Extraocular muscles (EOMs) are a unique group of skeletal muscles with unusual physiological properties such as being able to undergo rapid twitch contractions over extended periods and escape damage in the presence of excess intracellular calcium (Ca(2+)) in Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD). Enhanced Ca(2+) buffering has been proposed as a contributory mechanism to explain these properties; however, the mechanisms are not well understood. We investigated mechanisms modulating Ca(2+) levels in EOM and tibialis anterior (TA) limb muscles. Using Fura-2 based ratiometric Ca(2+) imaging of primary myotubes we found that EOM myotubes reduced elevated Ca(2+) ˜2-fold faster than TA myotubes, demonstrating more efficient Ca(2+) buffering. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) and western blotting revealed higher expression of key components of the Ca(2+) regulation system in EOM, such as the cardiac/slow isoforms sarcoplasmic Ca(2+)-ATPase 2 (Serca2) and calsequestrin 2 (Casq2). Interestingly EOM expressed monomeric rather than multimeric forms of phospholamban (Pln), which was phosphorylated at threonine 17 (Thr17) but not at the serine 16 (Ser16) residue. EOM Pln remained monomeric and unphosphorylated at Ser16 despite protein kinase A (PKA) treatment, suggesting differential signalling and modulation cascades involving Pln-mediated Ca(2+) regulation in EOM. Increased expression of Ca(2+)/SR mRNA, proteins, differential post-translational modification of Pln and superior Ca(2+) buffering is consistent with the improved ability of EOM to handle elevated intracellular Ca(2+) levels. These characteristics provide mechanistic insight for the potential role of superior Ca(2+) buffering in the unusual physiology of EOM and their sparing in DMD.
Project description:The pathophysiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is very complex and still rather elusive but in recent years evidence of early involvement of the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) has accumulated. We have recently reported that the human extraocular muscles (EOMs) are far less affected than limb muscles at the end-stage of ALS from the same donor. The present study aimed to compare the differences in synaptic protein composition at NMJ and in nerve fibers between EOM and limb muscles from ALS donors and controls. Neurofilament light subunit and synaptophysin decreased significantly at NMJs and in nerve fibers in limb muscles with ALS whereas they were maintained in ALS EOMs. S100B was significantly decreased at NMJs and in nerve fibers in both EOMs and limb muscles of ALS donors, but other markers confirmed the presence of terminal Schwann cells in these NMJs. p75 neurotrophin receptor was present in nerve fibers but absent at NMJs in ALS limb muscles. The EOMs were able to maintain the integrity of their NMJs to a very large extent until the end-stage of ALS, in contrast to the limb muscles. Changes in Ca(2+) homeostasis, reflected by altered S100B distribution, might be involved in the breakdown of nerve-muscle contact at NMJs in ALS.
Project description:The extraocular muscles (EOMs) are a unique group of muscles that are anatomically and physiologically distinct from other muscles. We and others have shown that EOMs have a unique transcriptome and proteome. Here we investigated the expression pattern of microRNAs (miRNAs), as they may play a role in generating the unique EOM allotype. We isolated RNA and screened LC Sciences miRNA microarrays covering the sequences of miRBase 10.0 to define the microRNAome of normal mouse EOM and tibialis anterior (TA) limb muscle. Seventy-four miRNAs were found to be differentially regulated (P value <0.05) of which 31 (14 upregulated, 17 downregulated) were differentially regulated at signal strength >500. Muscle-specific miRNAs miR-206 and miR-499 were upregulated and miR-1, miR-133a, and miR-133b were downregulated in EOM. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis was used to validate the differential expression. Bioinformatic tools were used to identify potential miRNA-mRNA-protein interactions and integrate data with previous transcriptome and proteomic profiling data. Luciferase assays using cotransfection of precursor miRNAs with reporter constructs containing the 3'-untranslated region of predicted target genes were used to validate targeting by identified miRNAs. The definition of the EOM microRNAome complements existing transcriptome and proteome data about the molecular makeup of EOM and provides further insight into regulation of muscle genes. These data will also help to further explain the unique EOM muscle allotype and its differential sensitivity to diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy and may assist in development of therapeutic strategies.
Project description:Strabismic extraocular muscles (EOMs) differ from normal EOMs in structural and functional properties, but the gene expression profile of these two types of EOM has not been examined. Differences in gene expression may inform about causes and effects of the strabismic condition in humans.EOM samples were obtained during corrective surgery from patients with horizontal strabismus and from deceased organ donors with normal EOMs. Microarrays and quantitative PCR identified significantly up- and down-regulated genes in EOM samples. Analysis was performed on probe sets with more than 3-fold differential expression between normal and strabismic samples, with an adjusted P value of ? 0.05.Microarray analysis showed that 604 genes in these samples had significantly different expression. Expression predominantly was upregulated in genes involved in extracellular matrix structure, and down-regulated in genes related to contractility. Expression of genes associated with signaling, calcium handling, mitochondria function and biogenesis, and energy homeostasis also was significantly different between normal and strabismic EOM. Skeletal muscle PCR array identified 22 (25%) of 87 muscle-specific genes that were significantly down-regulated in strabismic EOMs; none was significantly upregulated.Differences in gene expression between strabismic and normal human EOMs point to a relevant contribution of the peripheral oculomotor system to the strabismic condition. Decreases in expression of contractility genes and increases of extracellular matrix-associated genes indicate imbalances in EOM structure. We conclude that gene regulation of proteins fundamental to contractile mechanics and extracellular matrix structure is involved in pathogenesis and/or consequences of strabismus, suggesting potential novel therapeutic targets.
Project description:The extraocular muscles (EOMs) are a unique group of muscles that are anatomically and physiologically distinct from other skeletal muscles. Previously, we and others have shown that EOMs have a unique transcriptome and proteome. Here, we investigated the expression pattern of microRNAs (miRNAs) in EOM, as they may play a role in generating the unique EOM allotype. We screened LC Sciences miRNA microarrays covering the sequences of miRBase 10.0 to define the microRNAome of normal mouse EOM and tibialis anterior (TA) limb muscle. 74 miRNAs were found to be differentially regulated (p-value < 0.05) and 31 miRNAs (14 up-regulated and 17 down-regulated) were found to be differentially regulated at a signal strength > 500 including the muscle-specific miR-206, miR-1, miR-133a, miR-133b and miR-499. qPCR analysis was used to validate the differential expression. Bioinformatic tools were used to identify potential miRNA-mRNA-protein interactions and integrate data with previous transcriptome and proteomic profiling data. Luciferase assays using co-transfection of precursor miRNAs (pre-miRNAs) along with reporter constructs containing the 3’-untranslated region (3’UTR) of their predicted target genes were used to validate targeting by identified miRNAs. The definition of the EOM microRNAome complements existing transcriptome and proteome data about the molecular make-up of EOM and provides further insight into regulation of muscle genes. These data will also help to further explain the unique EOM muscle allotype and its differential sensitivity to diseases such as Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD) and may assist in development of therapeutic strategies. Overall design: Total RNA from four EOM and four TA tissue samples dissected from four adult male C57/Bl10 mice were used (TA served as control) to screen four LC Sciences microRNA Microarray chips. The chips contained microRNA sequences based on miRBase content 10.0 totalling 568 different miRNAs. Samples were labelled with Cy3 and Cy5 using dye-swap. Relative differences of miRNA expression was expressed as fold-changes EOM/TA, which were calculated after normalization across all four arrays.
Project description:Severely damaged adult zebrafish extraocular muscles (EOMs) regenerate through dedifferentiation of residual myocytes involving a muscle-to-mesenchyme transition. Members of the Twist family of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors (TFs) are key regulators of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and are also involved in craniofacial development in humans and animal models. During zebrafish embryogenesis, twist family members (twist1a, twist1b, twist2, and twist3) function to regulate craniofacial skeletal development. Because of their roles as master regulators of stem cell biology, we hypothesized that twist TFs regulate adult EOM repair and regeneration. In this study, utilizing an adult zebrafish EOM regeneration model, we demonstrate that inhibiting twist3 function using translation-blocking morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs) impairs muscle regeneration by reducing myocyte dedifferentiation and proliferation in the regenerating muscle. This supports our hypothesis that twist TFs are involved in the early steps of dedifferentiation and highlights the importance of twist3 during EOM regeneration.
Project description:To examine and characterize the profile of genes expressed at the synapses or neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) of extraocular muscles (EOMs) compared with those expressed at the tibialis anterior (TA).Adult rat eyeballs with rectus EOMs attached and TAs were dissected, snap frozen, serially sectioned, and stained for acetylcholinesterase (AChE) to identify the NMJs. Approximately 6000 NMJs for rectus EOM (EOMsyn), 6000 NMJs for TA (TAsyn), equal amounts of NMJ-free fiber regions (EOMfib, TAfib), and underlying myonuclei and RNAs were captured by laser capture microdissection (LCM). RNA was processed for microarray-based expression profiling. Expression profiles and interaction lists were generated for genes differentially expressed at synaptic and nonsynaptic regions of EOM (EOMsyn versus EOMfib) and TA (TAsyn versus TAfib). Profiles were validated by using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).The regional transcriptomes associated with NMJs of EOMs and TAs were identified. Two hundred seventy-five genes were preferentially expressed in EOMsyn (compared with EOMfib), 230 in TAsyn (compared with TAfib), and 288 additional transcripts expressed in both synapses. Identified genes included novel genes as well as well-known, evolutionarily conserved synaptic markers (e.g., nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) alpha (Chrna) and epsilon (Chrne) subunits and nestin (Nes).Transcriptome level differences exist between EOM synaptic regions and TA synaptic regions. The definition of the synaptic transcriptome provides insight into the mechanism of formation and functioning of the unique synapses of EOM and their differential involvement in diseases noted in the EOM allotype.
Project description:Insulin-like growth factors (Igfs) are key regulators of key biological processes such as embryonic development, growth, and tissue repair and regeneration. The role of Igf in myogenesis is well documented and, in zebrafish, promotes fin and heart regeneration. However, the mechanism of action of Igf in muscle repair and regeneration is not well understood. Using adult zebrafish extraocular muscle (EOM) regeneration as an experimental model, we show that Igf1 receptor blockage using either chemical inhibitors (BMS754807 and NVP-AEW541) or translation-blocking morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs) reduced EOM regeneration. Zebrafish EOMs regeneration depends on myocyte dedifferentiation, which is driven by early epigenetic reprogramming and requires autophagy activation and cell cycle reentry. Inhibition of Igf signaling had no effect on either autophagy activation or cell proliferation, indicating that Igf signaling was not involved in the early reprogramming steps of regeneration. Instead, blocking Igf signaling produced hypercellularity of regenerating EOMs and diminished myosin expression, resulting in lack of mature differentiated muscle fibers even many days after injury, indicating that Igf was involved in late re-differentiation steps. Although it is considered the main mediator of myogenic Igf actions, Akt activation decreased in regenerating EOMs, suggesting that alternative signaling pathways mediate Igf activity in muscle regeneration. In conclusion, Igf signaling is critical for re-differentiation of reprogrammed myoblasts during late steps of zebrafish EOM regeneration, suggesting a regulatory mechanism for determining regenerated muscle size and timing of differentiation, and a potential target for regenerative therapy.