Radiation-Induced Damage to Prepubertal Pax7+ Skeletal Muscle Stem Cells Drives Lifelong Deficits in Myofiber Size and Nuclear Number.
During prepubertal development, muscle stem cells (satellite cells, SCs) actively contribute to myofiber growth. Because some SCs are active during this time, they may be particularly susceptible to damage. Using a Small Animal Radiation Research Platform (SARRP), we investigated the effects of local fractionated radiation treatment on prepubertal SCs. Immediately after this regimen, there was a reduction in SC number. Although surviving SCs had deficiencies in function, some myogenic potential remained. Indeed, some muscle regenerative capacity persisted immediately after irradiation. Lastly, we assessed the long-term consequences of radiation-induced SC loss during prepuberty. We observed a reduction of myofiber size and corresponding loss of nuclei in both fast- and slow-contracting muscles 14 months post-irradiation. Notably, prepubertal SC depletion mimicked these lifelong deficits. This work highlights the susceptibility of prepubertal SCs to radiation exposure. We also reveal the importance of prepubertal SC contribution to the lifelong maintenance of skeletal muscle.
Bachman, JF; Blanc, RS; Paris, ND; Kallenbach, JG; Johnston, CJ; Hernady, E; Williams, JP; Chakkalakal, JV
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