Blood borne macrophages are essential for the triggering of muscle regeneration following muscle transplant

Neuromuscul Disord. 1999 Mar;9(2):72-80. doi: 10.1016/s0960-8966(98)00111-4.


The transplantation of satellite cells may constitute a strategy for rebuilding muscle fibres in inherited myopathies. However, its development requires a great understanding of the role of environmental signals in the regenerative process. It is therefore essential to identify the key events triggering and controlling this process in vivo. We investigated whether macrophages play a key role in the course of the regenerative process using skeletal muscle transplants from transgenic pHuDes-nls-LacZ mice. Before grafting, transplants were conditioned with macrophage inflammatory protein 1-beta (MIP 1-beta; stimulating the macrophages infiltration or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulating angiogenesis). Treatment of transplants with MIP 1-beta and VEGF both accelerated and augmented monocyte-macrophage infiltration and satellite cell differentiation and/or proliferation, as compared to controls. In addition, VEGF treatment enhanced the number of newly formed myotubes. When a complete depletion of host monocyte-macrophages was experimentally induced, no regeneration occurred in transplants. Our data suggest that the presence of blood borne macrophages is required for triggering the earliest events of skeletal muscle regeneration. The understanding of macrophage behaviour after muscle injury should allow us to develop future strategies of satellite cell transplantation as a treatment for muscular dystrophies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / physiology
  • Lymphokines / physiology
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins / physiology
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Monocytes / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / transplantation
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors