Biological scaffold-mediated delivery of myostatin inhibitor promotes a regenerative immune response in an animal model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Kenneth M. Estrellas, Liam Chung, Lindsay A. Cheu, Kaitlyn Sadtler, Shoumyo Majumdar, Jyothi Mula, Matthew Wolf, Jennifer H. Elisseeff, Kathryn R. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Recent studies have reported that the immune system significantly mediates skeletal muscle repair and regeneration. Additionally, biological scaffolds have been shown to play a role in polarizing the immune microenvironment toward pro-myogenic outcomes. Moreover, myostatin inhibitors are known to promote muscle regeneration and ameliorate fibrosis in animal models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a human disease characterized by chronic muscle degeneration. Biological scaffolds and myostatin inhibition can potentially influence immune-mediated regeneration in the dystrophic environment, but have not been evaluated together. Toward this end, here we created an injectable biological scaffold composed of hyaluronic acid and processed skeletal muscle extracellular matrix. This material formed a cytocompatible hydrogel at physiological temperatures in vitro. When injected subfascially above the tibialis anterior muscles of bothWTand dystrophic mdx-5Cv mice, a murine model of DMD, the hydrogel spreads across the entire muscle before completely degrading at 3 weeks in vivo. We found that the hydrogel is associated with CD206+ pro-regenerative macrophage polarization and elevated anti-inflammatory cytokine expression in both WT and dystrophic mice. Coinjection of both hydrogel and myostatin inhibitor significantly increased FoxP3+ regulatory T cell modulation and Foxp3 gene expression in the scaffold immune microenvironment. Finally, delivery of myostatin inhibitor with the hydrogel increased its bioactivity in vivo, and transplantation of immortalized human myoblasts with the hydrogel promoted their survival in vivo. This study identifies a key role for biological scaffolds and myostatin inhibitors in modulating a pro-regenerative immune microenvironment in dystrophic muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15594-15605
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 5 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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