European cells & materials

A fine structural modification of glycosaminoglycans is correlated with the progression of muscle regeneration after ischaemia: towards a matrix-based therapy?

PMID 26337540


Critical limb ischaemia often leads to amputation of the limb and potential mortality. Moreover, there are still significant problems with current therapeutic treatments, according to poor revascularisation of degenerated tissue probably due to modifications within the microenvironment. This study is focused on the changes of structure and bioactivity of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), especially heparan sulphate (HS) and chondroitin sulphate (CS) in rat Extensor Digitorum Longus (EDL) muscle after ischaemia. Male Wistar rats were subjected to ischaemic-injury by ligation of the neurovascular trunk accompanying EDL-tendon. After 4, 8, 15, 21, 60 and 90 d, the rats were sacrificed and the muscles were collected and submitted to histological, biochemical and gene expression assays. We demonstrated that ischaemia induced modification of expression of enzymes involved in GAG biosynthesis which correlated with significant changes in HS and CS structural features such as size and sulphation pattern. These major structural changes are associated to modifications of GAG abilities to bind growth factors and to modulate cell activity. Moreover, a CS hallmark of injury is maintained as well after the regeneration process. Finally, we showed the relevance of the role of this glycanic matrix remodelling, since a GAG mimetic treatment accelerated muscle repair after ischaemia.