Single cell analysis reveals satellite cell heterogeneity for proinflammatory chemokine expression

Alexander B. Andre, Katherina P. Rees, Samantha O’Connor, Grant W. Severson, Jason M. Newbern, Jeanne Wilson-Rawls, Christopher L. Plaisier, Alan Rawls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The expression of proinflammatory signals at the site of muscle injury are essential for efficient tissue repair and their dysregulation can lead to inflammatory myopathies. Macrophages, neutrophils, and fibroadipogenic progenitor cells residing in the muscle are significant sources of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. However, the inducibility of the myogenic satellite cell population and their contribution to proinflammatory signaling is less understood. Methods: Mouse satellite cells were isolated and exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to mimic sterile skeletal muscle injury and changes in the expression of proinflammatory genes was examined by RT-qPCR and single cell RNA sequencing. Expression patterns were validated in skeletal muscle injured with cardiotoxin by RT-qPCR and immunofluorescence. Results: Satellite cells in culture were able to express Tnfa, Ccl2, and Il6, within 2 h of treatment with LPS. Single cell RNA-Seq revealed seven cell clusters representing the continuum from activation to differentiation. LPS treatment led to a heterogeneous pattern of induction of C-C and C-X-C chemokines (e.g., Ccl2, Ccl5, and Cxcl0) and cytokines (e.g., Tgfb1, Bmp2, Il18, and Il33) associated with innate immune cell recruitment and satellite cell proliferation. One cell cluster was enriched for expression of the antiviral interferon pathway genes under control conditions and LPS treatment. Activation of this pathway in satellite cells was also detectable at the site of cardiotoxin induced muscle injury. Conclusion: These data demonstrate that satellite cells respond to inflammatory signals and secrete chemokines and cytokines. Further, we identified a previously unrecognized subset of satellite cells that may act as sensors for muscle infection or injury using the antiviral interferon pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1084068
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - 2023


  • chemokines
  • inflammation
  • interferon
  • muscle repair
  • satellite cells
  • scRNA-seq

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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