Associations of tissue damage induced inflammatory plasticity in masseter muscle with the resolution of chronic myalgia

Karen A. Lindquist, Sergey A. Shein, Anahit H. Hovhannisyan, Jennifer Mecklenburg, Yi Zou, Zhao Lai, Alexei V. Tumanov, Armen N. Akopian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gene plasticity during myogenous temporomandibular disorder (TMDM) development is largely unknown. TMDM could be modeled by intramuscular inflammation or tissue damage. To model inflammation induced TMDM we injected complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) into masseter muscle (MM). To model tissue damage induced TMDM we injected extracellular matrix degrading collagenase type 2 (Col). CFA and Col produced distinct myalgia development trajectories. We performed bulk RNA-seq of MM to generate gene plasticity time course. CFA initiated TMDM (1d post-injection) was mainly linked to chemo-tacticity of monocytes and neutrophils. At CFA-induced hypersensitivity post-resolution (5d post-injection), tissue repair processes were pronounced, while inflammation was absent. Col (0.2U) produced acute hypersensitivity linked to tissue repair without inflammatory processes. Col (10U) generated prolonged hypersensitivity with inflammatory processes dominating initiation phase (1d). Pre-resolution phase (6d) was accompanied with acceleration of expressions for tissue repair and pro-inflammatory genes. Flow cytometry showed that immune processes in MM was associated with accumulations of macrophages, natural killer, dendritic and T-cells, further confirming our RNA-seq findings. Altogether, CFA and Col treatments induced different immune processes in MM. Importantly, TMDM resolution was preceded with muscle cell and extracellular matrix repairs, an elevation in immune system gene expressions and distinct immune cell accumulations in MM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22057
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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