Muscle cell-derived cytokines in skeletal muscle regeneration

Rachel J. Waldemer-Streyer, Dongwook Kim, Jie Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Regeneration of the mammalian adult skeletal muscle is a well-orchestrated process regulated by multiple proteins and signalling pathways. Cytokines constitute a major class of regulators of skeletal myogenesis. It is well established that infiltrating immune cells at the site of muscle injury secrete cytokines, which play critical roles in the myofibre repair and regeneration process. In the past 10–15 years, skeletal muscle itself has emerged as a prolific producer of cytokines. Much attention in the field has been focused on the endocrine effects of muscle-secreted cytokines (myokines) on metabolic regulation. However, ample evidence suggests that muscle-derived cytokines also regulate myogenic differentiation and muscle regeneration in an autocrine manner. In this review, we survey cytokines that meet two criteria: (a) evidence of expression by muscle cells; (b) evidence demonstrating a myogenic function. Dozens of cytokines representing several major classes make up this group, and together they regulate all steps of the myogenic process. How such a large array of cytokines coordinate their signalling to form a regulatory network is a fascinating, pressing question. Functional studies that can distinguish the source of the cytokines in vivo are also much needed in order to facilitate exploration of their full therapeutic potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6463-6483
Number of pages21
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • cytokine
  • myogenesis
  • myogenic differentiation
  • regeneration
  • skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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