Faculty Advisor

Kim, Jung

Area of Study

Science and Mathematics

Publication Date

Summer 2015


The unique adaptive ability of skeletal muscle to meet functional demands is exemplified in its response to exercise. Though little is known about the molecular mechanisms that regulate this plasticity, the extracellular matrix (ECM) is believed to play a large role. The basal lamina is a specialized layer of ECM that lies in direct contact with the cell membrane of muscle fibers and facilitates environment-to-cell interactions. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) is an enzyme in the basal lamina that regulates much of these adaptive processes. During exercise, the regenerative process of damaged tissue requires the activation of muscle-specific stem cells known as satellite cells. Satellite cell activity has been proposed to be activated by MMP-9; However, there are no studies that look at this interaction. Thus the overall goal of the present proposal is to 1) determine the effects of MMP-9 on muscle hypertrophy via satellite cell activation and 2) assess whether hypertrophy of the plantaris muscle observed after functional overload (FO) is due to the increased size of existing muscle fibers or the addition of new muscle fibers. FO of the plantaris muscle, a calf muscle responsible for ankle extension, was performed in WT and MMP-9 knockout (MMP-9 KO) mice (~4 mos of age) by removing the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles and randomly placed into the following groups: 1) 2-day FO (n=5/group) and 14-day FO (n=5/group). A 0-day time point for each group was added as a baseline control (n=5/group). Fluorescence immunohistochemistry was performed using anti-Pax7 and anti-laminin antibodies to label satellite cells and the basal lamina, respectively. There was a general increase in satellite cells after 14-days FO compared to 0- and 2-days in both the WT and MMP-9 KO mice. There also was no observable trend or pattern in fiber count between time points for both WT and MMP-9 KO mice. However as the sample size is based on n=1 for each group at each time point no inference to statistical significance can be made. At this juncture, more samples are being analyzed to determine these relationships.


University of Puget Sound

UEC_Funding.docx (34 kB)
UEC Funding Statement