Muscle regeneration requires the coordination of muscle stem cells, mesenchymal fibro-adipogenic progenitors (FAPs), and macrophages. How macrophages regulate the paracrine secretion of FAPs during the recovery process remains elusive. Herein, we systemically investigated the communication between CD206+ M2-like macrophages and FAPs during the recovery process using a transgenic mouse model. Depletion of CD206+ M2-like macrophages or deletion of CD206+ M2-like macrophages-specific TGF-β1 gene induces myogenesis and muscle regeneration. We show that depletion of CD206+ M2-like macrophages activates FAPs and activated FAPs secrete follistatin, a promyogenic factor, thereby boosting the recovery process. Conversely, deletion of the FAP-specific follistatin gene results in impaired muscle stem cell function, enhanced fibrosis, and delayed muscle regeneration. Mechanistically, CD206+ M2-like macrophages inhibit the secretion of FAP-derived follistatin via TGF-β signaling. Here we show that CD206+ M2-like macrophages constitute a microenvironment for FAPs and may regulate the myogenic potential of muscle stem/satellite cells.
© 2022. The Author(s).