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Exp Cell Res. 2001 Jul 1;267(1):107-14.

Mechanical stretch induces activation of skeletal muscle satellite cells in vitro.

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Department of Animal Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.


Cultured quiescent satellite cells were subjected to mechanical stretch in a FlexerCell System. In response to stretch, satellite cells entered the cell cycle earlier than if they were under control conditions. Only a brief period of stretch, as short as 2 h, was necessary to stimulate activation. Additionally, conditioned medium from stretched cells could activate unstretched satellite cells. The presence of HGF on c-met-positive myogenic cells was detected by immunofluorescence at 12 h in culture, and immunoblots demonstrated that HGF was released by stretched satellite cells into medium. Also, stretch activation could be abolished by the addition of anti-HGF antibodies to stretched cultures, and activity in conditioned medium from stretched cells could be neutralized by anti-HGF antibodies. In addition, stretch appeared to cause release of preexisting HGF from the extracellular matrix. These experiments suggest that HGF may be involved in linking mechanical perturbation of muscle to satellite cell activation.

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