Loss of the adipokine lipocalin-2 impairs satellite cell activation and skeletal muscle regeneration Academic Article uri icon

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  • Lipocalin-2 (LCN2) is an adipokine previously described for its contribution to numerous processes, including innate immunity and energy metabolism. LCN2 has also been demonstrated to be an extracellular matrix (ECM) regulator through its association with the ECM protease matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). With the global rise in obesity and the associated comorbidities related to increasing adiposity, it is imperative to gain an understanding of the cross talk between adipose tissue and other metabolic tissues, such as skeletal muscle. Given the function of LCN2 on the ECM in other tissues and the importance of matrix remodeling in skeletal muscle regeneration, we examined the localization and expression of LCN2 in uninjured and regenerating wild-type skeletal muscle and assessed the impact of LCN2 deletion (LCN2−/−) on skeletal muscle repair following cardiotoxin injury. Though LCN2 was minimally present in uninjured skeletal muscle, its expression was increased significantly at 1 and 2 days postinjury, with expression present in Pax7-positive satellite cells. Although satellite cell content was unchanged, the ability of quiescent satellite cells to become activated was significantly impaired in LCN2−/− skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscle regeneration was also significantly compromised as evidenced by decreased embryonic myosin heavy chain expression and smaller regenerating myofiber areas. Consistent with a role for LCN2 in MMP-9 regulation, regenerating muscle also displayed a significant increase in fibrosis and lower ( P = 0.07) MMP-9 activity in LCN2−/− mice at 2 days postinjury. These data highlight a novel role for LCN2 in muscle regeneration and suggest that changes in adipokine expression can significantly impact skeletal muscle repair.


  • Rebalka, Irena A
  • Monaco, Cynthia MF
  • Varah, Nina E
  • Berger, Thorsten
  • D’souza, Donna M
  • Zhou, Sarah
  • Mak, Tak W
  • Hawke, Thomas

publication date

  • November 1, 2018