Spontaneous calcium transients manifest in the regenerating muscle and are necessary for skeletal muscle replenishment

Michelle Kim Tu, Laura N Borodinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Tissue regeneration entails replenishing of damaged cells, appropriate cell differentiation and inclusion of regenerated cells into functioning tissues. In adult humans, the capacity of the injured spinal cord and muscle to self-repair is limited. In contrast, the amphibian larva can regenerate its tail after amputation with complete recovery of muscle, notochord and spinal cord. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are still unclear. Here we show that upon injury muscle cell precursors exhibit Ca2+ transients that depend on Ca2+ release from ryanodine receptor-operated stores. Blockade of these transients impairs muscle regeneration. Furthermore, inhibiting Ca2+ transients in the regenerating tail prevents the activation and proliferation of muscle satellite cells, which results in deficient muscle replenishment. These findings suggest that Ca2+-mediated activity is critical for the early stages of muscle regeneration, which may lead to developing effective therapies for tissue repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalCell Calcium
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014



  • Calcium stores
  • Muscle regeneration
  • Muscle satellite cells
  • Xenopus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology

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