Effective Reinnervation of Skeletal Muscle is Impaired by Disrupting Microvascular Regeneration Following Acute Injury Academic Article uri icon


  • Acute injury of skeletal muscle damages myofibers, microvessels and neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Although myofiber regeneration is wellcharacterized, little is known of concurrent events in microvessels and motor nerves during skeletal muscle regeneration. Because growth and patterning are coordinated between nerves and microvessels during development, we tested the hypothesis that effective microvascular regeneration is required for restoring neuromuscular structure and function post injury in the adult. To impair angiogenesis, mice were bred for endothelial cell (EC)specific deletion of ephrinB2. Male mice (36 months old; n=23/group) were injected with tamoxifen to delete ephrinB2 in ECs (EfnB2CKO; confirmed with PCR); uninjected mice of the same genotype were used as controls. The gluteus maximus (GM) or tibialis anterior (TA) muscle was injured by local injection of 1.2% BaCl2 and muscles were evaluated at 10 days post injury, by which time morphological and functional myofiber regeneration will have occurred. Intravascular injection of fluorescent wheat germ agglutinin (WGA; stains only perfused vessels) or immunolabeling for CD31 (stains all ECs) revealed microvessels of the GM in EfnB2CKO to be vacuolated with disorganized ECs vs. intact microvascular networks with aligned ECs in control mice. Using indirect stimulation via the sciatic nerve, isometric force production in the TA was 196 N/cm2 in EfnB2CKO vs. 333 N/cm2 in control mice; force produced with direct electrical field stimulation was similar between groups. Immunostaining for neurofilamentheavy revealed reduced presynaptic coverage of NMJs in EfnB2CKO vs. control [609% vs. 7410% of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) per 200 m2 NMJ area]; postsynaptic staining with bungarotoxin revealed dispersed AChRs [200118 vs. 9243 fragments/200 m2, respectively]. These preliminary findings indicate that the loss of ephrinB2 in ECs results in functional deficits for neuromuscular transmission and NMJ morphology in association with impaired microvascular regeneration following acute injury. We conclude that regeneration of intact NMJs with functional reinnervation of myofibers requires effective revascularization and recovery of the microcirculation following skeletal muscle injury.Support or Funding InformationSupport: APS Postdoctoral Fellowship (ABM), R01AR067450 (DDWC), R37HL041026 (SSS)

published proceedings

  • The FASEB Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Morton, A. B., Cornelison, D., & Segal, S. S.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Morton, Aaron B||Cornelison, DDW||Segal, Steven S

publication date

  • April 2020