α-smooth muscle actin is not a marker of fibrogenic cell activity in skeletal muscle fibrosis

Wanming Zhao, Xingyu Wang, Kai Hui Sun, Lan Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

α-Smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) is used as a marker for a subset of activated fibrogenic cells, myofibroblasts, which are regarded as important effector cells of tissue fibrogenesis. We address whether α-SMA-expressing myofibroblasts are detectable in fibrotic muscles of mdx5cv mice, a mouse model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and whether the α-SMA expression correlates with the fibrogenic function of intramuscular fibrogenic cells. α-SMA immunostaining signal was not detected in collagen I (GFP)-expressing cells in fibrotic muscles of ColI-GFP/mdx5cv mice, but it was readily detected in smooth muscle cells lining intramuscular blood vessel walls. α-SMA expression was detected by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot in fibrogenic cells sorted from diaphragm and quadriceps muscles of the ColI-GFP/mdx5cv mice. Consistent with the more severe fibrosis in the ColI-GFP/mdx5cv diaphragm, the fibrogenic cells in the diaphragm exerted a stronger fibrogenic function than the fibrogenic cells in the quadriceps as gauged by their extracellular matrix gene expression. However, both gene and protein expression of α-SMA was lower in the diaphragm fibrogenic cells than in the quadriceps fibrogenic cells in the ColI-GFP/mdx5cv mice. We conclude that myofibroblasts are present in fibrotic skeletal muscles, but their expression of α-SMA is not detectable by immunostaining. The level of α-SMA expression by intramuscular fibrogenic cells does not correlate positively with the level of collagen gene expression or the severity of skeletal muscle fibrosis in the mdx5cv mice. α-SMA is not a functional marker of fibrogenic cells in skeletal muscle fibrosis associated with muscular dystrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0191031
JournalPLoS One
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

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fibrosis
smooth muscle
actin
Smooth Muscle
Muscle
skeletal muscle
Actins
Skeletal Muscle
Fibrosis
Diaphragms
diaphragm
Diaphragm
cells
Myofibroblasts
muscular dystrophy
Gene expression
mice
Collagen
gene expression
myocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

α-smooth muscle actin is not a marker of fibrogenic cell activity in skeletal muscle fibrosis. / Zhao, Wanming; Wang, Xingyu; Sun, Kai Hui; Zhou, Lan.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 13, No. 1, e0191031, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zhao, Wanming ; Wang, Xingyu ; Sun, Kai Hui ; Zhou, Lan. / α-smooth muscle actin is not a marker of fibrogenic cell activity in skeletal muscle fibrosis. In: PLoS One. 2018 ; Vol. 13, No. 1.
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