Intramuscular migration of myoblasts transplanted after muscle pretreatment with metalloproteinases

Cell Transplant. 2000 Jul-Aug;9(4):539-49.


The effect of pretreatments of host muscles with metalloproteinases (MMPs) or with notexin on the migration of transplanted myoblasts was investigated. Transgenic TnILacZ mice in which the beta-galactosidase gene is under the control of a quail fast skeletal troponin I gene promoter were used as donors. A polyethylene microtube with four perforations was inserted in the tibialis anterior (TA) of CD1 mice. Both pretreatment substances and cells were slowly injected through that microtube. Muscles were pretreated 2 days before myoblast injection either with a mixture of collagenase, matrilysin, and notexin or with only collagenase and matrilysin or only notexin. As control for our experiments, TnILacZ and C2C12 myoblasts were also injected in TA muscles not pretreated. Comparison of short and long-term myoblast radial migration was performed using a dye (PKH26) and X-gal staining, respectively. The recipient mice were immunosuppressed with FK506. Two days after myoblast transplantation, the cell movement in muscles pretreated with collagenase, matrilysin, and notexin was slightly greater than in muscles pretreated only with collagenase and matrilysin but was about twice that observed in muscles treated with notexin alone. Almost no radial migration of TnILacZ myoblasts was observed in untreated muscles. The C2C12 myoblasts showed a four-to fivefold higher migration capacity than TnILacZ myoblasts. At 15 days after TnILacZ myoblast transplantation, the farthest positive beta-gal muscle fibers show a two- to threefold extension of the initial migration observed at 2 days, demonstrating the ability of myoblasts to continue the migration following all pretreatments and even in the untreated muscles. In addition, more muscle fibers expressed the beta-gal reporter gene in muscles pretreated only with MMPs. Our results clearly demonstrate that muscle pretreatments with MMPs increase myoblast migration and fusion with host muscle fibers after transplantation and that the C2C12 cell line producing MMPs has a higher migratory capacity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cell Transplantation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagenases / metabolism
  • Elapid Venoms / pharmacology
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7 / metabolism
  • Metalloendopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Muscles / cytology*
  • Muscles / drug effects
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Muscles / transplantation*
  • Neurotoxins / pharmacology
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Elapid Venoms
  • Neurotoxins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • notexin
  • RNA
  • Collagenases
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7