Single-cell transcriptomic analysis of skeletal muscle regeneration across mouse lifespan identifies altered stem cell states associated with senescence

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 May 26:2023.05.25.542370. doi: 10.1101/2023.05.25.542370.


Skeletal muscle regeneration is driven by the interaction of myogenic and non-myogenic cells. In aging, regeneration is impaired due to dysfunctions of myogenic and non-myogenic cells, but this is not understood comprehensively. We collected an integrated atlas of 273,923 single-cell transcriptomes from muscles of young, old, and geriatric mice (~5, 20, 26 months-old) at six time-points following myotoxin injury. We identified eight cell types, including T and NK cells and macrophage subtypes, that displayed accelerated or delayed response dynamics between ages. Through pseudotime analysis, we observed myogenic cell states and trajectories specific to old and geriatric ages. To explain these age differences, we assessed cellular senescence by scoring experimentally derived and curated gene-lists. This pointed to an elevation of senescent-like subsets specifically within the self-renewing muscle stem cells in aged muscles. This resource provides a holistic portrait of the altered cellular states underlying skeletal muscle regenerative decline across mouse lifespan.

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