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Elevated CD47 is a hallmark of dysfunctional aged muscle stem cells that can be targeted to augment regeneration
Ermelinda Porpiglia 1, Thach Mai 2, Peggy Kraft 2, Colin A Holbrook 2, Antoine de Morree 3, Veronica D Gonzalez 4, Keren I Hilgendorf 5, Laure Frésard 6, Angelica Trejo 7, Sriram Bhimaraju 2, Peter K Jackson 5, Wendy J Fantl 8, Helen M Blau 9
In aging, skeletal muscle strength and regenerative capacity decline, due in part to functional impairment of muscle stem cells (MuSCs), yet the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we capitalize on mass cytometry to identify high CD47 expression as a hallmark of dysfunctional MuSCs (CD47hi) with impaired regenerative capacity that predominate with aging. The prevalent CD47hi MuSC subset suppresses the residual functional CD47lo MuSC subset through a paracrine signaling loop, leading to impaired proliferation. We uncover that elevated CD47 levels on aged MuSCs result from increased U1 snRNA expression, which disrupts alternative polyadenylation. The deficit in aged MuSC function in regeneration can be overcome either by morpholino-mediated blockade of CD47 alternative polyadenylation or antibody blockade of thrombospondin-1/CD47 signaling, leading to improved regeneration in aged mice, with therapeutic implications. Our findings highlight a previously unrecognized age-dependent alteration in CD47 levels and function in MuSCs, which underlies reduced muscle repair in aging.