Induced migration of endothelial cells into 3D scaffolds by chemoattractants secreted by pro-inflammatory macrophages in situ
Transplantation of muscle precursor cells is of therapeutic interest for focal skeletal muscular diseases. However, major limitations of cell transplantation are the poor survival, expansion and migration of the injected cells. The massive and early death of transplanted myoblasts is not fully understood although several mechanisms have been suggested. Various attempts have been made to improve their survival or migration. Taking into account that muscle regeneration is associated with the presence of macrophages, which are helpful in repairing the muscle by both cleansing the debris and deliver trophic cues to myoblasts in a sequential way, we attempted in the present work to improve myoblast transplantation by coinjecting macrophages. The present data showed that in the 5 days following the transplantation, macrophages efficiently improved: i) myoblast survival by limiting their massive death, ii) myoblast expansion within the tissue and iii) myoblast migration in the dystrophic muscle. This was confirmed by in vitro analyses showing that macrophages stimulated myoblast adhesion and migration. As a result, myoblast contribution to regenerating host myofibres was increased by macrophages one month after transplantation. Altogether, these data demonstrate that macrophages are beneficial during the early steps of myoblast transplantation into skeletal muscle, showing that coinjecting these stromal cells may be used as a helper to improve the efficiency of parenchymal cell engraftment.