The impact of mechanically stimulated muscle-derived stromal cells on aged skeletal muscle

Heather D. Huntsman, Catarina Rendeiro, Jennifer R. Merritt, Yair Pincu, Adam Cobert, Michael De Lisio, Emily Kolyvas, Svyatoslav Dvoretskiy, Iwona T. Dobrucki, Ralf Kemkemer, Tor Jensen, Lawrence W. Dobrucki, Justin S. Rhodes, Marni D. Boppart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perivascular stromal cells, including mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs), secrete paracrine factor in response to exercise training that can facilitate improvements in muscle remodeling. This study was designed to test the capacity for muscle-resident MSCs (mMSCs) isolated from young mice to release regenerative proteins in response to mechanical strain in vitro, and subsequently determine the extent to which strain-stimulated mMSCs can enhance skeletal muscle and cognitive performance in a mouse model of uncomplicated aging. Protein arrays confirmed a robust increase in protein release at 24 h following an acute bout of mechanical strain in vitro (10%, 1 Hz, 5 h) compared to non-strain controls. Aged (24 month old), C57BL/6 mice were provided bilateral intramuscular injection of saline, non-strain control mMSCs, or mMSCs subjected to a single bout of mechanical strain in vitro (4 × 10 4 ). No significant changes were observed in muscle weight, myofiber size, maximal force, or satellite cell quantity at 1 or 4 wks between groups. Peripheral perfusion was significantly increased in muscle at 4 wks post-mMSC injection (p < 0.05), yet no difference was noted between control and preconditioned mMSCs. Intramuscular injection of preconditioned mMSCs increased the number of new neurons and astrocytes in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus compared to both control groups (p < 0.05), with a trend toward an increase in water maze performance noted (p = 0.07). Results from this study demonstrate that acute injection of exogenously stimulated muscle-resident stromal cells do not robustly impact aged muscle structure and function, yet increase the survival of new neurons in the hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Gerontology
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Exercise
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Neurogenesis
  • Perivascular stromal cells
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Vascular perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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