Bone marrow-derived cells do not engraft into skeletal muscle microvasculature but promote angiogenesis after acute injury

Nicholas Ieronimakis, Aislinn Hays, Morayma Reyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The skeletal muscle is supported by a vast network of microvessels with the capacity to regenerate in response to injury. However, the dynamics of microvascular repair and the origin of reconstituted endothelial cells in the skeletal muscle are poorly understood. A growing body of literature exists to indicate bone marrow (BM)-derived cells engraft into regenerating vascular endothelium and muscle macrovasculature. Therefore, we investigated the extent of BM contribution to skeletal muscle microvasculature after acute injury. Because reporters and markers commonly used to trace donor BM cells are not endothelial specific but are also expressed by leukocytes, we generated novel BM chimeras utilizing Tie2-green fluorescent protein BM cells transplanted into CD31 and Caveolin-1 knockout recipients. In turn, we surveyed BM vascular contribution, not just by the presence of green fluorescent protein, but also CD31 and Caveolin-1, respectively. After stable BM reconstitution, chimera limb muscles were cardiotoxin (CTX) injured and examined 21 days post-injury for the presence of green fluorescent protein, CD31, and Caveolin-1. Acute muscle injury by CTX is characterized by initial microvasculature death followed by rapid endothelial regeneration within 14 days post-damage. Histological analysis of injured and uninjured contralateral limb muscles revealed a complete absence of BM engraftment in the muscle vasculature of wild-type and CD31/Caveolin-1 knockout chimeras. In contrast, F4/80+ cells isolated from CTX-injured muscle, expressed endothelial-related markers and promoted angiogenesis invitro. Therefore, despite the absence of BM engraftment to regenerated skeletal muscle microvasculature, macrophages recruited after injury promote angiogenesis and, in turn, vascular regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-249.e3
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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