Relayed signaling between mesenchymal progenitors and muscle stem cells ensures adaptive stem cell response to increased mechanical load

Cell Stem Cell. 2022 Feb 3;29(2):265-280.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2021.11.003. Epub 2021 Dec 1.


Adaptation to mechanical load, leading to enhanced force and power output, is a characteristic feature of skeletal muscle. Formation of new myonuclei required for efficient muscle hypertrophy relies on prior activation and proliferation of muscle stem cells (MuSCs). However, the mechanisms controlling MuSC expansion under conditions of increased load are not fully understood. Here we demonstrate that interstitial mesenchymal progenitors respond to mechanical load and stimulate MuSC proliferation in a surgical mouse model of increased muscle load. Mechanistically, transcriptional activation of Yes-associated protein 1 (Yap1)/transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (Taz) in mesenchymal progenitors results in local production of thrombospondin-1 (Thbs1), which, in turn, drives MuSC proliferation through CD47 signaling. Under homeostatic conditions, however, CD47 signaling is insufficient to promote MuSC proliferation and instead depends on prior downregulation of the Calcitonin receptor. Our results suggest that relayed signaling between mesenchymal progenitors and MuSCs through a Yap1/Taz-Thbs1-CD47 pathway is critical to establish the supply of MuSCs during muscle hypertrophy.

Keywords: CD47; CalcR; Taz; Thbs1; Yap; mechanical load; mesenchymal progenitors; muscle satellite cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD47 Antigen* / metabolism
  • Hypertrophy / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Myoblasts* / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / metabolism


  • CD47 Antigen