Defining the role of satellite cells in muscle maintenance throughout the lifespan using genetic labeling

Grants and Contracts Details


Project Summary/Abstract The goal of this proposal is to develop and characterize a novel mouse line which will allow for the conditional, genetic labeling of satellite cells in adult skeletal muscle. Satellite cells are the myogenic stem ceO of adult skeletal muscle and have been most studied during post-natal growth and during muscle regeneration following injury. Beyond speculation, the role of satellite cells in the. maintenance of skeletal muscle throughout life has yet to be directly studied due to the difficulty of accurately identifying satellite cells and the inability to stably track their frequency and behavior overtime. To overcome this obstacle, in Aim 1 we will generate the Pax7-GNZ mouse by crossing the conditional, satellite cell-specific driver/inducer mouse line (Pax7-CreER) with a nuclear-localized GFP-/acZ reporter mouse line (Rosa26-GNZ). A major strength of the proposal is that the parental strains required to generate the Pax7-GNZ line already exist. Characterization of the Faxl-GNZ mouse line will entail quantifying the specificity and magnitude to which the reporter gene effectively marks satellite cells. The role of satellite cells in maintaining muscle mass will then be determined by inducing reporter gene expression in 3 month old mice which will be ana:lyzed at later time points throughout the lifespan of the mice. Aim 2 will begin to determine the contribution of satellite cells to the compromised ability of aging muscle to adapt to changes in demand. The PaxT-GNZ mice will be used to quantify satellite cell dynamics with muscle hypertrophy induced by synergist ablation and re-growth following muscle atrophy induced by hindlimb unloading. The Fax7-GNZ mouse line represents a powerful, unique genetic tool that will allow for the first time, a comprehensive and accurate quantification of satellite cell dynamics in the maintenance of muscle during normal muscle aging, as well as during periods of altered demand such as hypertrophy and restoration of mass following atrophy. Furthermore, results obtained wilt serve as the foundation for future studies using a genetic mouse model to examine the impact on muscle plasticity of specifically ablating satellite cells in adult skeletal muscle. These studies will define the function of satellite cells in skeletal muscle plasticity and homeostasis and how it may change with age.
Effective start/end date8/15/097/31/12


  • National Institute on Aging: $405,776.00


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