Influence of insulin-like growth factor-I on skeletal muscle regeneration
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Skeletal muscle regeneration involves a tightly regulated coordination of cellular and signaling events to remodel and repair the site of injury. When this coordination is perturbed, the regenerative process is impaired. The expression of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is robust in the typical muscle regenerative program, promoting cell survival and increasing myoblast activity. In this project, we found that severely depressed IGF-I expression and intracellular signaling in aged skeletal muscle coincided with impaired regeneration from ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). To hasten muscle regeneration, we developed the PEGylated fibrin gel (PEG-Fib) system as a means to intramuscularly deliver IGF-I in a controlled manner to injured muscle. This strategy resulted in greatly improved muscle function and histological assessment following 14 days of reperfusion, which are likely mediated by improved myofiber survival. Recent evidence suggests macrophages (MPs) are responsible for the upregulation of IGF-I following injury, therefore we developed a rapid, reproducible, and cost-effective model of investigating MP profiles in injured muscle via flow cytometry. Using information gathered from this model, we found that increasing the number of a non-inflammatory MP population improves the recovery of muscle from I/R. These data demonstrate that immunomodulatory therapies have the potential to greatly improve the recovery of skeletal muscle from injury.