IGF-II is up-regulated and myofibres are hypertrophied in regenerating soleus of mice lacking FGF6

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Important functions in myogenesis have been proposed for FGF6, a member of the fibroblast growth factor family accumulating almost exclusively in the myogenic lineage. However, the use of FGF6(−/−) mutant mice gave contradictory results and the role of FGF6 during myogenesis remains largely unclear. Using FGF6(−/−) mice, we first analysed the morphology of the regenerated soleus following cardiotoxin injection and showed hypertrophied myofibres in soleus of the mutant mice as compared to wild-type mice. Secondly, to examine the function of the IGF family in the hypertrophy process, we used semiquantitative and real-time RT-PCR assays and Western blots to monitor the expression of the insulin-like growth factors (IGF-I and IGF-II), their receptors [type I IGF receptor (IGF1R) and IGF-II receptor (IGF2R)], and of a binding protein IGFBP-5 in regenerating soleus muscles of FGF6(−/−) knockout mice vs. wild-type mice. In the mutant, both IGF-II and IGF2R, but not IGF-I and IGF1R, were strongly up-regulated, whereas IGFBP5 was down-regulated, strongly suggesting that, in the absence of FGF6, the mechanisms leading to myofibre hypertrophy were mediated specifically by an IGF-II/IGF2R signalling pathway distinct from the classic mechanism involving IGF-I and IGF1R previously described for skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The potential regulating role of IGFBP5 on IGF-II expression is also discussed. This report shows for the first time a specific role for FGF6 in the regulation of myofibre size during a process of in vivo myogenesis.

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