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Stem Cells. 2007 Oct;25(10):2448-59. Epub 2007 Jun 28.

Molecular signature of quiescent satellite cells in adult skeletal muscle.

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Department of Molecular Therapy, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawa-higashi, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8502, Japan.


Skeletal muscle satellite cells play key roles in postnatal muscle growth and regeneration. To study molecular regulation of satellite cells, we directly prepared satellite cells from 8- to 12-week-old C57BL/6 mice and performed genome-wide gene expression analysis. Compared with activated/cycling satellite cells, 507 genes were highly upregulated in quiescent satellite cells. These included negative regulators of cell cycle and myogenic inhibitors. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed that quiescent satellite cells preferentially express the genes involved in cell-cell adhesion, regulation of cell growth, formation of extracellular matrix, copper and iron homeostasis, and lipid transportation. Furthermore, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction on differentially expressed genes confirmed that calcitonin receptor (CTR) was exclusively expressed in dormant satellite cells but not in activated satellite cells. In addition, CTR mRNA is hardly detected in nonmyogenic cells. Therefore, we next examined the expression of CTR in vivo. CTR was specifically expressed on quiescent satellite cells, but the expression was not found on activated/proliferating satellite cells during muscle regeneration. CTR-positive cells reappeared at the rim of regenerating myofibers in later stages of muscle regeneration. Calcitonin stimulation delayed the activation of quiescent satellite cells. Our data provide roles of CTR in quiescent satellite cells and a solid scaffold to further dissect molecular regulation of satellite cells. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

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