Interleukin-4 improves the migration of human myogenic precursor cells in vitro and in vivo

Exp Cell Res. 2006 Apr 15;312(7):1127-41. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2006.01.002. Epub 2006 Feb 7.


Different molecules are available to recruit new neighboring myogenic cells to the site of regeneration. Formerly called B cell stimulatory factor-1, IL-4 can now be included in the list of motogenic factors. The present report demonstrates that human IL-4 is not required for fusion between mononucleated myoblasts but is required for myotube maturation. In identifying IL-4 as a pro-migratory agent for myogenic cells, these results provide a mechanism which partly explains IL-4 demonstrated activity during differentiation. Among the different mechanisms by which IL-4 might enhance myoblast migration processes, our results indicate that there are implications of some integrins and of three major components of the fibrinolytic system. Indeed, increases in the amount of active urokinase plasminogen activator and its receptor were observed following an IL-4 treatment, while the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 decreased. Finally, IL-4 did not modify the amount of cell surface alpha5 integrin but increased the presence of beta3 and beta1 integrins. This integrin modulation might favor myogenic cell migration and its interaction with newly formed myotubes. Therefore, IL-4 co-injection with transplanted myoblasts might be an approach to enhance the migration of transplanted cells for the treatment of a damaged myocardium or of a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy patient.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • Interleukin-4 / physiology*
  • Male
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Myoblasts / cytology*
  • Myoblasts / physiology*


  • Integrins
  • Interleukin-4