Distribution of myogenic progenitor cells and myonuclei is altered in women with vs. those without chronically painful trapezius muscle.J Appl Physiol (1985). 2010 Dec; 109(6):1920-9.JA
It is hypothesized that repeated recruitment of low-threshold motor units is an underlying cause of chronic pain in trapezius myalgia. This study investigated the distribution of satellite cells (SCs), myonuclei, and macrophages in muscle biopsies from the trapezius muscle of 42 women performing repetitive manual work, diagnosed with trapezius myalgia (MYA; 44 ± 8 yr; mean ± SD) and 20 matched healthy controls (CON; 45 ± 9 yr). Our hypothesis was that muscle of MYA, in particular type I fibers, would demonstrate higher numbers of SCs, myonuclei, and macrophages compared with CON. SCs were identified on muscle cross sections by combined immunohistochemical staining for Pax7, type I myosin, and laminin, allowing the number of SCs associated with type I and II fibers to be determined. We observed a pattern of SC distribution in MYA previously only reported for individuals above 70 yr of age. Compared with CON, MYA demonstrated 19% more SCs per fiber associated with type I fibers (MYA 0.098 ± 0.039 vs. CON 0.079 ± 0.031; P < 0.05) and 40% fewer SCs associated with type II fibers (MYA 0.047 ± 0.017 vs. CON 0.066 ± 0.035; P < 0.05). The finding of similar numbers of macrophages between the two groups was not in line with our hypothesis and suggests that the elevated SC content of MYA was not due to heightened inflammatory cell contents, but rather to provide new myonuclei. The findings of greater numbers of SCs in type I fibers of muscle subjected to repeated low-intensity work support our hypothesis and provide new insight into stimuli capable of regulating SC content.