Satellite cell heterogeneity with respect to expression of MyoD, myogenin, Dlk1 and c-Met in human skeletal muscle: application to a cohort of power lifters and sedentary men.Histochem Cell Biol. 2010 Oct; 134(4):371-85.HC
Human satellite cells (SCs) are heterogeneous with respect to markers for their identification in the niche between the muscle fibre plasma membrane and its basal lamina. We have previously shown that, in biopsies from highly competitive power lifters, power lifters with long-term use of anabolic steroids and a population of healthy sedentary men, antibodies against the neuronal cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) and the paired box transcription factor Pax7 together label 94% of the SCs, NCAM alone labels 4% and Pax7 alone labels 1%. In the present study, we have further studied these biopsies with four markers related to SC activation and differentiation. Our study unequivocally shows that staining for MyoD and myogenin are present in nuclei of SCs and of myoblasts and myotubes in areas of muscle fibre regeneration. Staining for c-Met was observed in a proportion of Pax7+ SCs. However, widespread labelling of the sarcolemma precluded the quantification of c-Met+/Pax7+ SCs and the use of c-Met as a reliable SC marker. Pax7+ SCs labelled by anti-Delta like1 (Dlk1) were present in all samples but in variable proportions, whereas muscle progenitor cells related to repair were Dlk1⁻. Staining for Dlk1 was also observed in Pax7⁻ interstitial cells and in the cytoplasm of some small muscle fibres. Interestingly, the proportion of Dlk1+/Pax7+ SCs was significantly different between the groups of power lifters. Thus, our study confirms that human SCs show marked heterogeneity and this is discussed in terms of SC activation, myonuclei turnover, muscle fibre growth and muscle fibre damage and repair.