Osteopontin, inflammation and myogenesis: influencing regeneration, fibrosis and size of skeletal muscle

J Cell Commun Signal. 2014 Jun;8(2):95-103. doi: 10.1007/s12079-013-0217-3. Epub 2013 Dec 8.


Osteopontin is a multifunctional matricellular protein that is expressed by many cell types. Through cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions the molecule elicits a number of responses from a broad range of target cells via its interaction with integrins and the hyaluronan receptor CD44. In many tissues osteopontin has been found to be involved in important physiological and pathological processes, including tissue repair, inflammation and fibrosis. Post-natal skeletal muscle is a highly differentiated and specialised tissue that retains a remarkable capacity for regeneration following injury. Regeneration of skeletal muscle requires the co-ordinated activity of inflammatory cells that infiltrate injured muscle and are responsible for initiating muscle fibre degeneration and phagocytosis of necrotic tissue, and muscle precursor cells that regenerate the injured muscle fibres. This review focuses on the current evidence that osteopontin plays multiple roles in skeletal muscle, with particular emphasis on its role in regeneration and fibrosis following injury, and in determining the severity of myopathic diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.