Effects of β1-integrin antisense phosphorothioate-modified oligonucleotide on myoblast behaviour in vitro

U. Carraro, A. Bruson, C. Catani, L. Dalla Libera, M. L. Massimino, C. Rizzi, K. Rossini, M. Sandri, M. Cantini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Myoblasts gene-engineered in vitro and then injected in vivo are safe, efficient options for gene therapy. While isolation of satellite cells is routinely achieved, their proliferation potential in vitro remains a limiting factor for cell transplantation under clinical conditions. We have studied the role of reversible inhibition of gene expression by antisense oligonucleotides on the proliferation of the myogenic cells. Addition of antisense oligonucleotides to myoblast cultures has been used to inhibit specifically the expression of the β1-integrin subunit gene. Here we show that the effects of multiple pulses of a phosphorothioate oligodeoxinucleotide antisense on the attachment to substrata and on the proliferation of myoblasts are dose-dependent. The addition of antisense to rat myoblasts caused rounding up of the cells and most of the cells became detached after several days in culture. A single pulse did not show any consistent effect, while in the presence of continuously administered antisense, the relative numbers of myoblasts in the treated muscle culture increased. We have no evidence of inhibition of myoblast fusion under these conditions. On the other hand, [3H]-TdR incorporation, total DNA and total number of cells decreased in antisense-treated cultures thus demonstrating an inhibitory effect of the phosphorothioate oligonucleotides on DNA synthesis. These side-effects could be overcome by substituting the phosphorothioate by unmodified oligonucleotides, so decreasing the half-life of the antisense, but also its toxicity. The overall results suggest a potential role of integrin antisense strategy in modulating the potential of myoblasts to proliferate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-104
Number of pages6
JournalCell Biochemistry and Function
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Antisense
  • Gene therapy
  • Integrin
  • Myoblast
  • Proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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