Skeletal muscle satellite cell activation following cutaneous burn in rats

Xiaowu Wu, Thomas J. Walters, Christopher R. Rathbone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Cutaneous burn distant from skeletal muscles induces atrophy; however, its effect on muscle stem cells resident in skeletal muscle (satellite cells) distal to burn is not known. Methods: Satellite cell activation was measured in predominantly fast-twitch [tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus (EDL), plantaris, and gastrocnemius] and slow-twitch (soleus) muscles of rats that received either 40% total body surface area full-thickness scald burn or sham burn to the trunk area by determining bromodeoxyuridine incorporation, MyoD, and Pax7 immunohistochemistry in vivo ≤48 h after burn. To determine the effects of circulating factors on satellite cell activation, satellite cell cultures were treated with serum from sham or burn rats. Results: In vivo activation of satellite cells was increased in fast muscles isolated from burn as compared to sham animals, whereas a significant response was not seen in slow muscles. Serum taken from animals in the burn group increased the activation of satellite cells isolated from both sham and burn animals in vitro, suggesting that circulating factors have the potential to increase satellite cell activation following burn. Conclusions: Increases in satellite cell activation in muscles distal to burn are fiber-type-dependent, and circulating factors may play a role in the activation of satellite cells following burn. A better understanding of the impact of burn on satellite cell functionality will allow us to identify the cellular mechanisms of long-term muscle atrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-744
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Activation
  • Atrophy
  • Muscle precursor cell
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Thermal injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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