Stem Cell Antigen-1 in Skeletal Muscle Function

Harold S. Bernstein, Tahmina Samad, Sompob Cholsiripunlert, Saami Khalifian, Wenhui Gong, Carissa Ritner, Julian Aurigui, Vivian Ling, Karlijn J. Wilschut, Stephen Bennett, Julien Hoffman, Peter Oishi

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8 Scopus citations


Stem cell antigen-1 (Sca-1) is a member of the Ly-6 multigene family encoding highly homologous, glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-anchored membrane proteins. Sca-1 is expressed on muscle-derived stem cells and myogenic precursors recruited to sites of muscle injury. We previously reported that inhibition of Sca-1 expression stimulated myoblast proliferation in vitro and regulated the tempo of muscle repair in vivo. Despite its function in myoblast expansion during muscle repair, a role for Sca-1 in normal, post-natal muscle has not been thoroughly investigated. We systematically compared Sca-1-/- (KO) and Sca-1+/+ (WT) mice and hindlimb muscles to elucidate the tissue, contractile, and functional effects of Sca-1 in young and aging animals. Comparison of muscle volume, fibrosis, myofiber cross-sectional area, and Pax7+ myoblast number showed little differences between ages or genotypes. Exercise protocols, however, demonstrated decreased stamina in KO versus WT mice, with young KO mice achieving results similar to aging WT animals. In addition, KO mice did not improve with practice, while WT animals demonstrated conditioning over time. Surprisingly, myomechanical analysis of isolated muscles showed that KO young muscle generated more force and experienced less fatigue. However, KO muscle also demonstrated incomplete relaxation with fatigue. These findings suggest that Sca-1 is necessary for muscle conditioning with exercise, and that deficient conditioning in Sca-1 KO animals becomes more pronounced with age.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS Currents
Issue numberAUG
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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