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Ciliary Hedgehog Signaling Restricts Injury-Induced Adipogenesis

Kopinke, Daniel, Roberson, Elle C., Reiter, Jeremy F.
Cell 2017 v.170 pp. 340-351.e12
adipocytes, adipogenesis, animal models, cilia, muscles, muscular dystrophy, skeletal muscle
Injured skeletal muscle regenerates, but with age or in muscular dystrophies, muscle is replaced by fat. Upon injury, muscle-resident fibro/adipogenic progenitors (FAPs) proliferated and gave rise to adipocytes. These FAPs dynamically produced primary cilia, structures that transduce intercellular cues such as Hedgehog (Hh) signals. Genetically removing cilia from FAPs inhibited intramuscular adipogenesis, both after injury and in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Blocking FAP ciliation also enhanced myofiber regeneration after injury and reduced myofiber size decline in the muscular dystrophy model. Hh signaling through FAP cilia regulated the expression of TIMP3, a secreted metalloproteinase inhibitor, that inhibited MMP14 to block adipogenesis. A pharmacological mimetic of TIMP3 blocked the conversion of FAPs into adipocytes, pointing to a strategy to combat fatty degeneration of skeletal muscle. We conclude that ciliary Hh signaling by FAPs orchestrates the regenerative response to skeletal muscle injury.