Asynchronous inflammation and myogenic cell migration limit muscle tissue regeneration mediated by a cellular scaffolds

Inflamm Cell Signal. 2014;1(4):e530. doi: 10.14800/ics.530. Epub 2015 Mar 10.


Volumetric muscle loss (VML) following orthopaedic trauma results in chronic loss of strength and can contribute to disability. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches to regenerate the lost skeletal muscle and improve functional outcomes are currently under development. At the forefront of these efforts, decellularized extracellular matrices (ECMs) have reached clinical testing and provide the foundation for other approaches that include stem/progenitor cell delivery. ECMs have been demonstrated to possess many qualities to initiate regeneration, to include stem cell chemotaxis and pro-regenerative macrophage polarization. However, the majority of observations indicate that ECM-repair of VML does not promote appreciable muscle fiber regeneration. In a recent study, ECM-repair of VML was compared to classical muscle fiber regeneration (Garg et al., 2014, Cell & Tissue Research) mediated by autologous minced grafts. The most salient findings of this study were: 1) Satellite cells did not migrate into the scaffold beyond ~0.5 mm from the remaining host tissue, although other migratory stem cells (Sca-1+) were observed throughout the scaffold;2) Macrophage migration to the scaffold was over two-times that observed with muscle grafts, but they appeared to be less active, as gene expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-12, IL-4, IL-10, VEGF, and TGF-β1) was significantly reduced in scaffold-repaired muscles; And, 3) scaffolds did not promote appreciable muscle fiber regeneration. Collectively, these data suggest that the events following ECM transplantation in VML are either incongruous or asynchronous with classical muscle fiber regeneration.