Tissue engineered skeletal muscle model of rheumatoid arthritis using human primary skeletal muscle cells.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease primarily targeting the joints. Autoreactive immune cells involved in RA affect other tissues, including skeletal muscle. Patients with RA experience diminished physical function, limited mobility, reduced muscle function, chronic pain, and increased mortality. To explore the impact of RA on skeletal muscle, we engineered electrically responsive, contractile human skeletal muscle constructs (myobundles) using primary skeletal muscle cells isolated from the vastus lateralis muscle of 11 RA patients (aged 57-74) and 10 aged healthy donors (aged 55-76), as well as from the hamstring muscle of six young healthy donors (less than 18 years of age) as a benchmark. Since all patients were receiving treatment for the disease, RA disease activity was mild. In 2D culture, RA myoblast purity, growth rate, and senescence were not statistically different than aged controls; however, RA myoblast purity showed greater variance compared to controls. Surprisingly, in 3D culture, contractile force production by RA myobundles was greater compared to aged controls. In support of this finding, assessment of RA myofiber maturation showed increased area of sarcomeric α-actinin (SAA) expression over time compared to aged controls. Furthermore, a linear regression test indicated a positive correlation between SAA protein levels and tetanus force production in RA and controls. Our findings suggest that medications prescribed to RA patients may maintain-or even enhance-muscle function, and this effect is retained and observed in in vitro culture. Future studies regarding the effects of RA therapeutics on RA skeletal muscle, in vivo and in vitro, are warranted.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Oliver, CE; Patel, H; Hong, J; Carter, J; Kraus, WE; Huffman, KM; Truskey, GA

Published Date

  • February 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 128 - 139

PubMed ID

  • 34781416

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9487182

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-7005

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/term.3266


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England