Effect of microRNA modulation on bioartificial muscle function.
Cellular therapies have recently employed the use of small RNA molecules, particularly microRNAs (miRNAs), to regulate various cellular processes that may be altered in disease states. In this study, we examined the effect of transient muscle-specific miRNA inhibition on the function of three-dimensional skeletal muscle cultures, or bioartificial muscles (BAMs). Skeletal myoblast differentiation in vitro is enhanced by inhibiting a proliferation-promoting miRNA (miR-133) expressed in muscle tissues. As assessed by functional force measurements in response to electrical stimulation at frequencies ranging from 0 to 20 Hz, peak forces exhibited by BAMs with miR-133 inhibition (anti-miR-133) were on average 20% higher than the corresponding negative control, although dynamic responses to electrical stimulation in miRNA-transfected BAMs and negative controls were similar to nontransfected controls. Immunostaining for alpha-actinin and myosin also showed more distinct striations and myofiber organization in anti-miR-133 BAMs, and fiber diameters were significantly larger in these BAMs over both the nontransfected and negative controls. Compared to the negative control, anti-miR-133 BAMs exhibited more intense nuclear staining for Mef2, a key myogenic differentiation marker. To our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate that miRNA mediation has functional effects on tissue-engineered constructs.
Rhim, C; Cheng, CS; Kraus, WE; Truskey, GA
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