Cytokine Mediated Control of Muscle Stem Cell Function
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Skeletal muscle stem cells, known as satellite cells (SC), are an absolute requirement for muscle regeneration and contribute significantly to post-natal muscle growth. This stem cell population is governed by a network of transcription factors collectively referred to as the myogenic regulatory factors. These factors are responsible for the progression of a SC from the quiescent state through activation, proliferation and terminal differentiation in a process referred to as the myogenic programme. At each stage in this process, cytokines and growth factors have been shown to play a role in directing the myogenic response. The myogenic programme is complex and requires input from a host of factors that provide both stimulatory and inhibitory signals that regulate SC. Despite years of work in this field, there remains a paucity of information on the precise factors that drive the myogenic programme. In recent years, factors, such as IL-6, have been shown to be critical factors in promoting SC proliferation. In fact, a complete absence of IL-6 in skeletal muscle substantially impairs muscle SC proliferation. These observations highlight the potential importance of the inflammatory response and the cross-talk between inflammatory cells and SC in promoting muscle repair and growth. This chapter will focus on recent advances in cytokine (and some growth factors) regulation of SC. Work from cell, animal and human models will be discussed.
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