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PLoS Genet. 2019 Oct 18;15(10):e1008408. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008408. eCollection 2019 Oct.

Macrophages fine tune satellite cell fate in dystrophic skeletal muscle of mdx mice.

Author information

IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia (FSL), Rome, Italy.
Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (IBBC), National Research Council (CNR), Rome, Italy.
Department of Biology and Biotechnology "Charles Darwin", Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
Center for Genomic Science of IIT@SEMM, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Milan, Italy.
IRCCS European Institute of Oncology (IEO), Milan, Italy.
DAHFMO-Unit of Histology and Medical Embryology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
Development, Aging and Regeneration Program, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla, California, United States of America.


Satellite cells (SCs) are muscle stem cells that remain quiescent during homeostasis and are activated in response to acute muscle damage or in chronic degenerative conditions such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The activity of SCs is supported by specialized cells which either reside in the muscle or are recruited in regenerating skeletal muscles, such as for instance macrophages (MΦs). By using a dystrophic mouse model of transient MΦ depletion, we describe a shift in identity of muscle stem cells dependent on the crosstalk between MΦs and SCs. Indeed MΦ depletion determines adipogenic conversion of SCs and exhaustion of the SC pool leading to an exacerbated dystrophic phenotype. The reported data could also provide new insights into therapeutic approaches targeting inflammation in dystrophic muscles.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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