© FASEB. Regeneration of skeletal muscle is a complex process that requires the activation of quiescent adult stem cells, called satellite cells, which are resident in hypoxic niches in the tissue. Hypoxia has been recognized as a key factor to maintain stem cells in anundifferentiated state. Hereinwe report that hypoxia plays a fundamental role also in activating myogenesis. In particular, we found that the activation of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α under hypoxia, in murine skeletal myoblasts, leads to activation of MyoD through the noncanonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Moreover, chemical inhibition of HIF-1α activity significantly reduces differentiation, thus confirming its crucial role in the process. Furthermore, hypoxia-preconditioned myoblasts, once induced to differentiate under normoxic conditions, tend to form hypertrophic myotubes. These results support the notion that hypoxia plays a pivotal role in activating the regeneration process by directly inducing myogenesis through HIF-1α. Although preliminary, these findings may suggest new perspective for novel therapeutic targets in the treatment of several muscle diseases.
- Skeletal muscle differentiation