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Alfonso Saera-Vila, Daniel S. Kasprick, Tyler L. Junttila, Steven J. Grzegorski, Ke'ale W. Louie, Estelle F. Chiari, Phillip E. Kish, Alon Kahana; Myocyte Dedifferentiation Drives Extraocular Muscle Regeneration in Adult Zebrafish. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(8):4977-4993. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.14-16103.
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The purpose of this study was to characterize the injury response of extraocular muscles (EOMs) in adult zebrafish.
Adult zebrafish underwent lateral rectus (LR) muscle myectomy surgery to remove 50% of the muscle, followed by molecular and cellular characterization of the tissue response to the injury.
Following myectomy, the LR muscle regenerated an anatomically correct and functional muscle within 7 to 10 days post injury (DPI). Following injury, the residual muscle stump was replaced by a mesenchymal cell population that lost cell polarity and expressed mesenchymal markers. Next, a robust proliferative burst repopulated the area of the regenerating muscle. Regenerating cells expressed myod, identifying them as myoblasts. However, both immunofluorescence and electron microscopy failed to identify classic Pax7-positive satellite cells in control or injured EOMs. Instead, some proliferating nuclei were noted to express mef2c at the very earliest point in the proliferative burst, suggesting myonuclear reprogramming and dedifferentiation. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling of regenerating cells followed by a second myectomy without repeat labeling resulted in a twice-regenerated muscle broadly populated by BrdU-labeled nuclei with minimal apparent dilution of the BrdU signal. A double-pulse experiment using BrdU and 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU) identified double-labeled nuclei, confirming the shared progenitor lineage. Rapid regeneration occurred despite a cell cycle length of 19.1 hours, whereas 72% of the regenerating muscle nuclei entered the cell cycle by 48 hours post injury (HPI). Dextran lineage tracing revealed that residual myocytes were responsible for muscle regeneration.
EOM regeneration in adult zebrafish occurs by dedifferentiation of residual myocytes involving a muscle-to-mesenchyme transition. A mechanistic understanding of myocyte reprogramming may facilitate novel approaches to the development of molecular tools for targeted therapeutic regeneration in skeletal muscle disorders and beyond.
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