Efficient regeneration requires multiple cell types acting in coordination. To better understand the intercellular networks involved and how they change when regeneration fails, we profile the transcriptome of hematopoietic, stromal, myogenic, and endothelial cells over 14 days following acute muscle damage. We generate a time-resolved computational model of interactions and identify VEGFA-driven endothelial engagement as a key differentiating feature in models of successful and failed regeneration. In addition, the analysis highlights that the majority of secreted signals, including VEGFA, are simultaneously produced by multiple cell types. To test whether the cellular source of a factor determines its function, we delete VEGFA from two cell types residing in close proximity: stromal and myogenic progenitors. By comparing responses to different types of damage, we find that myogenic and stromal VEGFA have distinct functions in regeneration. This suggests that spatial compartmentalization of signaling plays a key role in intercellular communication networks.
Keywords: CP: Stem cell research; FAP; VEGFA; angiogenesis; bioinformatics; muscle progenitor; signaling redundancy; skeletal muscle.
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