Effects of Simulated Microgravity on Muscle Stem Cells Activity
Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry
The study of the effects of simulated microgravity on primary cultures of human satellite cells represents a reliable model for identifying the biomolecular processes involved in mechanic load-related muscle mass loss. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the role of myostatin and Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 in human satellite cells response to simulated microgravity condition. In order to identify the main molecules involved in the phenomena of degeneration/regeneration of muscle tissue
... elated to the alteration of mechanic load, we performed a morphological and immunohistochemical study on 27 muscle biopsies taken from control, osteoporotic and osteoarthritic patients, underwent hip arthroplasty. For each patient, we set up primary satellite cell cultures subjected to normogravity and simulated microgravity (110h) regimens. Cellular functionality has been studied through a morphological evaluation performed by optical microscopy, and an ultrastructural evaluation carried out by transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, we evaluated the expression of Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 and myostatin through immunocytochemical reactions. Our results showed that in the very early phases of simulated microgravity condition the satellite cells are more active than those subjected to the normogravity regime, as demonstrated by both the increase in the number of myotubes and the significant increase in the expression of Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 in all experimental groups. However, with prolongated exposure to simulated microgravity regime (>72h), satellite cells and new formed myotubes underwent to cell death. It is important to note that, in early phases, simulated microgravity can stimulate the formation of new myotubes from satellite cells derived by osteoporotic patients. Furthermore, we observed that simulated microgravity can induce changes in myostatin expression levels by group-dependent variations. The results obtained allowed us to hypothesize a possible molecular mechanism of response to simulated microgravity, confirming the importance of Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 and myostatin in the physio-pathogenesis of muscle tissue. In addition, these data can lay the foundation for new therapeutic approached in the prevention/cure of osteoporosis and sarcopenia.