Intramuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) formation is observed in some pathological conditions such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and sarcopenia. Several studies have suggested that IMAT formation is not only negatively correlated with skeletal muscle mass but also causes decreased muscle contraction in sarcopenia. In the present study, we examined w hether adipocytes affect myogenesis. For this purpose, skeletal muscle progenitor cells were transfected with siRNA of PPARγ (siPPARγ) in an attempt to inhibit adipogenesis. Myosin heavy chain (MHC)-positive myotube formation was promoted in cells transfected with siPPARγ compared to that of cells transfected with control siRNA. To determine whether direct cell-to-cell contact between adipocytes and myoblasts is a prerequisite for adipocytes to affect myogenesis, skeletal muscle progenitor cells were cocultured with pre- or mature adipocytes in a Transwell coculture system. MHC-positive myotube formation was inhibited when skeletal muscle progenitor cells were cocultured with mature adipocytes, but was promoted when they were cocultured with preadipocytes. Similar effects were observed when pre- or mature adipocyte-conditioned medium was used. These results indicate that preadipocytes play an important role in maintaining skeletal muscle mass by promoting myogenesis; once differentiated, the resulting mature adipocytes negatively affect myogenesis, leading to the muscle deterioration observed in skeletal muscle pathologies.
Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Intramuscular adipose tissue; Mature adipocyte; Myogenesis; Preadipocyte; Sarcopenia.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.