Odd skipped-related 1 identifies a population of embryonic fibro-adipogenic progenitors regulating myogenesis during limb development

Nat Commun. 2017 Oct 31;8(1):1218. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01120-3.


Fibro-adipogenic progenitors (FAPs) are an interstitial cell population in adult skeletal muscle that support muscle regeneration. During development, interstitial muscle connective tissue (MCT) cells support proper muscle patterning, however the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood and it remains unclear whether adult FAPs and embryonic MCT cells share a common lineage. We show here that mouse embryonic limb MCT cells expressing the transcription factor Osr1, differentiate into fibrogenic and adipogenic cells in vivo and in vitro defining an embryonic FAP-like population. Genetic lineage tracing shows that developmental Osr1+ cells give rise to a subset of adult FAPs. Loss of Osr1 function leads to a reduction of myogenic progenitor proliferation and survival resulting in limb muscle patterning defects. Transcriptome and functional analyses reveal that Osr1+ cells provide a critical pro-myogenic niche via the production of MCT specific extracellular matrix components and secreted signaling factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Connective Tissue / metabolism
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology*
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Extremities / embryology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Mice
  • Muscle Development*
  • Myoblasts / cytology*
  • Myoblasts / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factor 4 / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Osr1 protein, mouse
  • Tcf4 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factor 4
  • Transcription Factors