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Senolytic elimination of senescent macrophages restores muscle stem cell function in severely dystrophic muscle
Lei Liu 1, Xianlin Yue 1, Zewei Sun 1, William S Hambright 2, Qi Feng 1, Yan Cui 3, Johnny Huard 2, Paul D Robbins 4, Zhihui Wang 1, Xiaodong Mu 1
...Our recent study also showed that immune cells in severely dystrophic muscles develop senescence-like phenotypes, including the increased expression of senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) factors and senescence markers. Here we further investigated whether the specific clearance of senescent immune cells in dystrophic muscle may effectively improve the function of muscle stem cells and the phenotypes of dystrophic muscle. We observed increased percentage of senescent cells in macrophages from mdx/utro(-/-) mice (a murine model for muscular dystrophy disease, dystrophin-/-; utrophin-/-), while the treatment of mdx/utro(-/-) macrophages with senolytic drug fisetin resulted in reduced number of senescent cells. We administrated fisetin to mdx/utro(-/-) mice for 4 weeks, and observed obviously reduced number of senescent immune cells, restored number of muscle cells, and improve muscle phenotypes. In conclusion, our results reveal that senescent immune cells, such as macrophages, are greatly involved in the development of muscle dystrophy by impacting the function of muscle stem cells, and the senolytic ablation of these senescent cells with fisetin can be an effective therapeutic strategy for improving function of muscle stem cells and phenotypes of dystrophic muscles.