PloS one

Altered Satellite Cell Responsiveness and Denervation Implicated in Progression of Rotator-Cuff Injury.

PMID 27668864


Rotator-cuff injury (RCI) is common and painful; even after surgery, joint stability and function may not recover. Relative contributions to atrophy from disuse, fibrosis, denervation, and satellite-cell responsiveness to activating stimuli are not known. Potential contributions of denervation and disrupted satellite cell responses to growth signals were examined in supraspinatus (SS) and control (ipsilateral deltoid) muscles biopsied from participants with RCI (N = 27). Biopsies were prepared for explant culture (to study satellite cell activity), immunostained to localize Pax7, BrdU, and Semaphorin 3A in satellite cells, sectioning to study blood vessel density, and western blotting to measure the fetal (γ) subunit of acetylcholine receptor (γ-AchR). Principal component analysis (PCA) for 35 parameters extracted components identified variables that contributed most to variability in the dataset. γ-AchR was higher in SS than control, indicating denervation. Satellite cells in SS had a low baseline level of activity (Pax7+ cells labelled in S-phase) versus control; only satellite cells in SS showed increased proliferative activity after nitric oxide-donor treatment. Interestingly, satellite cell localization of Semaphorin 3A, a neuro-chemorepellent, was greater in SS (consistent with fiber denervation) than control muscle at baseline. PCAs extracted components including fiber atrophy, satellite cell activity, fibrosis, atrogin-1, smoking status, vascular density, γAchR, and the time between symptoms and surgery. Use of deltoid as a control for SS was supported by PCA findings since "muscle" was not extracted as a variable in the first two principal components. SS muscle in RCI is therefore atrophic, denervated, and fibrotic, and has satellite cells that respond to activating stimuli. Since SS satellite cells can be activated in culture, a NO-donor drug combined with stretching could promote muscle growth and improve functional outcome after RCI. PCAs suggest indices including satellite cell responsiveness, atrogin-1, atrophy, and innervation may predict surgical outcome.