J Physiol 596.6 (2018) pp 1063–1078
The Journal of Physiology
The inﬂuence of capillarization on satellite cell pool
expansion and activation following exercise-induced
muscle damage in healthy young men
Joshua P. Nederveen
, Sophie Joanisse
, Aaron C. Q. Thomas
, Dinesh Kumbhare
and Gianni Parise
Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L8, Canada
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2A2, Canada
Edited by: Michael Hogan & Troy Hornberger
Skeletal muscle stem cells (satellite cells) play a crucial role in repair and remodelling of muscle
in response to exercise.
Satellite cells are in close spatial proximity to muscle capillaries and therefore may be inﬂuenced
In this study, we describe the activation and expansion of the satellite cell pool in response to
eccentric contraction-induced muscle damage in individuals with signiﬁcantly different levels
of muscle capillarization.
Individuals with greater capillarization and capacity for muscle perfusion demonstrated
enhanced activation and/or expansion of the satellite cell pool allowing for an accelerated
recovery of muscle function.
These results provide insight into the critical relationship between muscle capillarization and
satellite cells during skeletal muscle repair.
Abstract Factors that determine the skeletal muscle satellite cell (SC) response remain
incompletely understood. It is known, however, that SC activation status is closely related to the
anatomical relationship between SCs and muscle capillaries. We investigated the impact of muscle
ﬁbre capillarization on the expansion and activation status of SCs following a muscle-damaging
exercise protocol in healthy young men. Twenty-nine young men (21 ± 0.5 years) performed
300 unilateral eccentric contractions (180 deg s
) of the knee extensors. Percutaneous muscle
biopsies from the vastus lateralis and blood samples from the antecubital vein were taken prior
to (Pre) exercise and at 6, 24, 72 and 96 h of post-exercise recovery. A comparison was made
between subjects who had a relative low mixed muscle capillary-to-ﬁbre perimeter exchange index
(CFPE; Low group) and high mixed muscle CFPE index (High group) at baseline. Type I and
type II muscle ﬁbre size, myonuclear content, capillarization, and SC response were determined
via immunohistochemistry. Overall, there was a signiﬁcant correlation (r = 0.39; P < 0.05)
between the expansion of SC content (change in total Pax7
cells/100 myoﬁbres) 24 h following
eccentric exercise and mixed muscle CFPE index. There was a greater increase in activated SCs
cells) in the High as compared to the Low CFPE group 72 h following eccentric
exercise (P < 0.05). The current study provides further evidence that muscle ﬁbre capillarization
may play an important role in the activation and expansion of the SC pool during the process of
skeletal muscle repair.
(Received 10 September 2017; accepted after revision 28 November 2017; ﬁrst published online 6 January 2018)
Corresponding author G. Parise: Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L8, Canada.
2018 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology
2018 The Physiological Society DOI: 10.1113/JP275155