Paper of the Month - December 2015

D'Souza DM, Trajcevski KE, Al-Sajee D, Wang DC, Thomas M, Anderson JE, Hawke TJ. Diet-induced obesity impairs muscle satellite cell activation and muscle repair through alterations in hepatocyte growth factor signaling. Physiol Rep. 2015 Aug;3(8). pii: e12506. doi: 10.14814/phy2.12506.

While it is well established, by our lab and others, that high fat feeding (i.e. diet-induced obesity; DIO) negatively alters skeletal muscle health and development, less is known regarding the influence of diet-induced obesity on skeletal muscle plasticity. This characteristic of skeletal muscle is largely mediated by the function of skeletal muscle satellite cells (SCs). Accordingly, the purpose of this investigation was to identify changes to satellite cell function using a well-established model of DIO. In our study, we demonstrate that DIO-derived skeletal muscle display impaired regeneration following muscle injury as a result of attenuated satellite cell activation. Such findings were attributed to unfavourable changes to the HGF/c-met signalling axis. This study contributes to the present understanding of the detrimental effects of the obese environment on skeletal muscle health, and is novel in its examination of the changes incurred to SC function following DIO.