Exercise running and tetracycline as means to enhance skeletal muscle stem cell performance after external fixation

G. Shefer, E. Carmeli, G. Rauner, Z. Yablonka-Reuveni, Dafna Benayahu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prolonged limb immobilization, which is often the outcome of injury and illness, results in the atrophy of skeletal muscles. The basis of muscle atrophy needs to be better understood in order to allow development of effective countermeasures. The present study focused on determining whether skeletal muscle stem cells, satellite cells, are directly affected by long-term immobilization as well as on investigating the potential of pharmacological and physiological avenues to counterbalance atrophy-induced muscle deterioration. We used external fixation (EF), as a clinically relevant model, to gain insights into the relationships between muscle degenerative and regenerative conditions to the myogenic properties and abundance of bona fide satellite cells. Rats were treated with tetracycline (Tet) through the EF period, or exercise trained on a treadmill for 2 weeks after the cessation of the atrophic stimulus. EF induced muscle mass loss; declined expression of the muscle specific regulatory factors (MRFs) Myf5, MyoD, myogenin, and also of satellite cell numbers and myogenic differentiation aptitude. Tet enhanced the expression of MRFs, but did not prevent the decline of the satellite cell pool. After exercise running, however, muscle mass, satellite cell numbers (enumerated through the entire length of myofibers), and myogenic differentiation aptitude (determined by the lineal identity of clonal cultures of satellite cells) were re-gained to levels prior to EF. Together, our results point to Tet and exercise running as promising and relevant approaches for enhancing muscle recovery after atrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-275
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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