Catechins activate muscle stem cells by Myf5 induction and stimulate muscle regeneration

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 Jul 22;489(2):142-148. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.05.114. Epub 2017 May 22.


Muscle weakness is one of the most common symptoms in aged individuals and increases risk of mortality. Thus, maintenance of muscle mass is important for inhibiting aging. In this study, we investigated the effect of catechins, polyphenol compounds in green tea, on muscle regeneration. We found that (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG) and (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) activate satellite cells by induction of Myf5 transcription factors. For satellite cell activation, Akt kinase was significantly induced after ECG treatment and ECG-induced satellite cell activation was blocked in the presence of Akt inhibitor. ECG also promotes myogenic differentiation through the induction of myogenic markers, including Myogenin and Muscle creatine kinase (MCK), in satellite and C2C12 myoblast cells. Finally, EGCG administration to mice significantly increased muscle fiber size for regeneration. Taken together, the results suggest that catechins stimulate muscle stem cell activation and differentiation for muscle regeneration.

Keywords: Catechins; Muscle regeneration; Myogenic differentiation; Phosphoinositide 3-kinases/Akt; Satellite cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catechin / chemistry
  • Catechin / pharmacology*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Muscles / cytology
  • Muscles / drug effects*
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5 / biosynthesis*
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5 / metabolism
  • Regeneration / drug effects*
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / cytology*
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / drug effects*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Myf5 protein, mouse
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5
  • Catechin