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Preliminary experiments on mechanical stretch-induced activation of skeletal muscle satellite cells in vivo

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We have shown in vitro that mechanical stretch triggers activation of quiescent satellite cells of skeletal muscle to enter the cell cycle through an intracellular cascade of events including nitric oxide (NO) synthesis that results in the release of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) from its extracellular association and its subsequent presentation to signaling receptors. In order to explore the activation mechanism in vivo, stretch experiments were conducted in the living animal using our suspension model developed. This system used the weight of the hind portion of rats to stretch the inside muscles of the left hind limb suspended for a period of 0.5–2.0 h. At the end of the stretch period, the rats received an intraperitoneal injection of bromodeoxyuridine followed by immunocytochemistry for its incorporation as an index of satellite cell activation in vivo. Depending on the period of stretch, bromodeoxyuridine labeling was increased significantly over the contralateral unstretched leg or control muscle from untreated rats. A stretched muscle extract prepared from the 2 h stretched tissue by incubating it in PBS, showed the active form of HGF as revealed by immunoblotting and it could stimulate the activation of unstretched satellite cells. Also, administering NO synthase inhibitor L-NAME prior to muscle stretch abolished the stretch activation of satellite cells. Therefore, the results from these experiments demonstrate that stretching muscle triggers NO synthesis and HGF release, which could activate satellite cells in vivo.
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Keywords: hepatocyte growth factor; nitric oxide; satellite cell; skeletal muscle; stretch activation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku, Sapporo-shi and 2: Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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