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. 2019 Jul 9;28(2):368-381.e6.
doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.06.025.

Estrogen Regulates the Satellite Cell Compartment in Females

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Free PMC article

Estrogen Regulates the Satellite Cell Compartment in Females

Brittany C Collins et al. Cell Rep. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Skeletal muscle mass, strength, and regenerative capacity decline with age, with many measures showing a greater deterioration in females around the time estrogen levels decrease at menopause. Here, we show that estrogen deficiency severely compromises the maintenance of muscle stem cells (i.e., satellite cells) as well as impairs self-renewal and differentiation into muscle fibers. Mechanistically, by hormone replacement, use of a selective estrogen-receptor modulator (bazedoxifene), and conditional estrogen receptor knockout, we implicate 17β-estradiol and satellite cell expression of estrogen receptor α and show that estrogen signaling through this receptor is necessary to prevent apoptosis of satellite cells. Early data from a biopsy study of women who transitioned from peri- to post-menopause are consistent with the loss of satellite cells coincident with the decline in estradiol in humans. Together, these results demonstrate an important role for estrogen in satellite cell maintenance and muscle regeneration in females.

Keywords: estradiol; muscle stem cells; ovarian hormones; quiescence; skeletal muscle.

Conflict of interest statement

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

The authors declare no competing interests.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.. Estrogen Deficiency Disrupts Maintenance of Satellite Cells in Skeletal Muscles of Females
(A) Total number of satellite cells quantified by lineage negative;VCAM, alpha7 double-positive cells in five discrete muscles from control (n = 15) and ovariectomized (Ovx; n = 15) mice. Muscles were harvested and analyzed 2, 4, or 7 months after Ovx and in age-matched controls. (B) Muscle masses. (C) Total number of satellite cells normalized to muscle masses. (D) Satellite cells quantified by immunohistochemistry of Pax7+ cells in TA muscles from control (n = 4) and Ovx (n = 4) mice at 2 months of hormone deficiency. Arrows indicate localization of DAPI+ Pax7+double-positive cell. Scale bars, 50 μm. (E) TA muscle cross-sectional area and number of fibers from control and Ovx mice (p ≥ 0.193), and Pax7+ cells per TA muscle cross-sectional area and % Pax7+ cells in each cross section relative to the total number of muscle fibers. Significant main effects of two-way ANOVA (p < 0.05) are indicated above the bars (A–C) and when interactions occurred (p < 0.05), Holm-Sidak post hoc tests are indicated by the following symbols: *, different than control at corresponding duration (A–C); ***ø, different than 2- and 4-month Ovx (A and C); and +, different than 2- and 7-month Ovx (B). **p < 0.005 by Student’s t tests (E).
Figure 2.
Figure 2.. Estradiol Maintains the Satellite Cell Pool and Accelerates Recovery of Strength
(A) Representative FACS plots of cells isolated from TA muscles of Ovx mice without (n = 3) and with 17μ-estradiol treatment (Ovx+E2; n = 4). (B) Total number of satellite cells. (C) TA muscle mass. (D) Total number of satellite cells relative to TA muscle mass. (E) Maximal isometric torque (i.e., strength) expressed relative to pre-injury torque in Ovx mice without (Ovx+Placebo; n = 6) or with 17β-estradiol treatment (Ovx+E2; n = 8) following repeated injuries to TA muscle. *p < 0.05 and **p < 0.005 by Student’s t tests (A–D) and Holm-Sidak post hoc (E).
Figure 3.
Figure 3.. Loss of Estradiol in the Environment Negatively Affects Satellite Cell and Fiber Engraftment That Can be Rescued by the Presence of Estradiol
(A) Transplantation scheme for ZsGreen+ cells transplanted into control and Ovx recipients. (B) Representative FACS plots of ZsGreen+ donor satellite cells in TA muscle 1 month post-transplant in control and Ovx recipient mice. (C) Total number of ZsGreen+ donor satellite cells in control (n = 12) and Ovx (n = 15) recipient mice 1 month post-transplant. (D) Scheme for tdTom+ cells transplanted into control (n = 6) and Ovx (n = 6) recipients. (E) Representative FACS plots of tdTomato red fluorescent protein (tdTOM)+ donor satellite cells in TA muscle 1 month post-transplant in control and Ovx recipient mice. (F) Total number of tdTOM+ donor satellite cells in control (n = 6) and Ovx (n = 6) recipient mice 1 month post-transplant. (G) Representative images of tdTom+ fibers in the engrafted region of TA muscle from control and Ovx recipient mice. Scale bars, 100 mm. (H) Quantification of total number of tdTom+ fibers from control and Ovx recipients. (I) Transplantation scheme for ZsGreen+ cells from control and Ovx donors. (J) Representative FACS plots of ZsGreen+ control and Ovx donor satellite cells in TA muscle 1 month following transplant in control recipient mice. (K) Total number of ZsGreen+ control (n = 8) and Ovx (n = 6) donor satellite cells in control recipient TA muscles 1 month post-transplantation. *p < 0.05 and **p < 0.005 by Student’s t tests.
Figure 4.
Figure 4.. Peri- to Post-Menopausal Transition Results in Decline of Muscle Satellite Cells in Humans
(A) Subject characteristics of women participants (n = 5). (B) Representative images of DAPI stained nuclei (blue), Pax7 satellite cells (gold), and merged images from cross sections of muscle biopsies from perimenopausal women and of the same women when post-menopausal status was reached. Scale bars, 50 μm. (C) Quantification of percentage of Pax7+ cells counted in each cross section relative to the total number of fibers in muscle biopsies from peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women (p = 0.057). (D) Declines in the percentage of Pax7+ cells in muscle cross sections of four out of five individual women during the two menopausal stages. (E) Individual serum estradiol (E2) levels in women during the two menopausal stages. (F) Pearson correlation between E2 and %Pax7+ cells (p = 0.023). Peri-menopausal women shown in closed circles and post-menopausal women shown in open circles (def).
Figure 5.
Figure 5.. Estrogen Receptor Alpha (ERα) Is the Relevant Hormone Receptor in Satellite Cells
(A) mRNA gene expression of Pax7 in isolated ZsGreen+ satellite cells from Pax7-ZsGreen female mice (n = 4). (B) Transcripts per kilobase million (TPM) of ER alpha (Esr1), ER beta (Esr2), g-protein coupled ER (Gper1), and progesterone receptor (Pgr) in isolated ZsGreen+ satellite cells from Pax7-ZsGreen mice (n = 3). (C) mRNA gene expression of Esr1 ZsGreen– -mononuclear cells and Zsgreen+ satellite cells from Pax7-ZsGreen mice (n = 4) (D) TPM of Esr1, Esr2, Gper1, and Pgr in Pax7+/+;Esr1fl/fl;Pax7-ZsGreen (scERαWT; n = 3) and Pax7CreERT2/+;Esr1fl/fl;Pax7-ZsGreen (scERαKO; n = 3) mice.(E and F) mRNA gene expression of Esr1 and Gper1 (E) relative to Esr1 expression and (F) relative to that in scERαWT in isolated ZsGreen+ satellite cells from scERαWT (n = 3) and scERαKO (n = 4) mice. ANOVA, Holm-Sidak post hoc tests indicated by **p < 0.005, significantly different from Esr1 (B) or scERαWT (D–F)
Figure 6.
Figure 6.. Estradiol Regulates Satellite Cell Number Cell Autonomously through ERα
(A) Total number of ZsGreen+ satellite cells in five muscles of Pax7+/+;Esr1fl/fl;Pax7-ZsGreen (scERαWT; n = 6) and Pax7CreERT2/+;Esr1fl/fl;Pax7-ZsGreen (scERαKO; n = 6) mice. (B) Muscle masses. (C) Total number of ZsGreen+ cells normalized to muscle mass. (D) Total number of satellite cells quantified by lineage negative;VCAM,alpha7 double-positive cells in two muscles of scERαWT (n = 6), scERαKO (n = 4), scERαKO+Ovx (n = 5), and scERαKO+Ovx+17β-estradiol (scERαKO+Ovx+E2; n = 5). (E) Muscle masses. (F) Total number of satellite cells normalized to muscle masses. (G) Total number of satellite cells isolated from TA muscles of Ovx mice without (n = 6) and with Bazedoxifine (Ovx+BZA; n = 5) treatment (p = 0.055). (H) scERαWT and scERαKO transplantation scheme. (I) Quantification of ZsGreen+ donor satellite cells in control recipient TA muscles following transplantation. *p < 0.05 by Student’s t tests (A–C, G, and I) *p < 0.05 ANOVA, Holm-Sidak post hoc tests are indicated by *, different from scERαWT (D–F)
Figure 7.
Figure 7.. Loss of ERα Results in Satellite Cell Apoptosis
(A) Percent of Pax7+ cells that were also TUNEL+ in cross sections of TA muscles from control (n = 4) and Ovx without (Ovx; n = 4) and with 17β-estradiol treatment (Ovx+E2; n = 3). (B) qRT-PCR mRNA expression of apoptosis-related genes in ZsGreen+ satellite cells isolated from gastrocnemius muscles of control (n = 4) and Ovx mice (n = 4). (C) Principal component analysis (PCA) of RNA-seq profiles of ZsGreen+ satellite cells of Pax7+/+;Esr1fl/fl;Pax7-ZsGreen (scERαWT; n = 3) and Pax7CreERT2/+; Esr1fl/fl;Pax7-ZsGreen (scERαKO; n = 3) mice. (D) Heatmap of 388 differentially expressed genes in satellite cells of scERαWT and scERαKO mice. (E) Transcripts per kilobase million (TPM) of ERα target genes, nuclear receptor interaction protein (Nrip), growth regulating ER binding 1 (Greb1), and oxytocin receptor (Oxtr). (F) Top 10 molecular and cellular functions from ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA). Red box to highlight the top pathway, cell death, and survival. (G) Top 10 upregulated and top 10 downregulated apoptosis-related genes from IPA in satellite cells of scERαWT and scERαKO mice. (H) qRT-PCR mRNA expression of apoptosis-related genes in ZsGreen+ satellite cells of scERαWT and scERαKO mice. Significance tested with ANOVA, Holm–Sidak post hoc tests are indicated by *, different from control and Ovx+E2, *p < 0.05 (A) and *p < 0.05 and **p < 0.005 by Student’s t tests (B, E, and G).

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