Transient up-regulation of biglycan during skeletal muscle regeneration: delayed fiber growth along with decorin increase in biglycan-deficient mice

Dev Biol. 2004 Apr 15;268(2):358-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2003.12.025.


The onset and progression of skeletal muscle regeneration are controlled by a complex set of interactions between muscle precursor cells and their environment. Decorin is the main proteoglycan present in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of adult muscle while biglycan expression is lower, but both are increased in mdx mice dystrophic muscle. Both of these small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs) can bind other matrix proteins and to the three TGF-beta isoforms, acting as modulators of their biological activity. We evaluated biglycan and decorin expression in skeletal muscle during barium chloride-induced skeletal muscle regeneration in mice. A transient and dramatic up-regulation of biglycan was associated with newly formed myotubes, whereas decorin presented only minor variations. Studies both in vitro and in intact developing newborn mice showed that biglycan expression is initially high and then decreases during skeletal muscle differentiation and maturation. To further evaluate the role of biglycan during the regenerative process, skeletal muscle regeneration was studied in biglycan-null mice. Skeletal muscle maintains its regenerative capacity in the absence of biglycan, but a delay in regenerated fiber growth and a decreased expression of embryonic myosin were observed despite to normal expression of MyoD and myogenin. Transient up-regulation of decorin during muscle regeneration in these mice may possibly obscure further roles of SLRPs in this process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biglycan
  • Decorin
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Proteoglycans / classification
  • Proteoglycans / deficiency
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism*
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Up-Regulation*


  • Bgn protein, mouse
  • Biglycan
  • Dcn protein, mouse
  • Decorin
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Proteoglycans