Tissue engineered skeletal muscle model of rheumatoid arthritis using human primary skeletal muscle cells.

TitleTissue engineered skeletal muscle model of rheumatoid arthritis using human primary skeletal muscle cells.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsCE Oliver, H Patel, J Hong, J Carter, WE Kraus, KM Huffman, and GA Truskey
JournalJ Tissue Eng Regen Med
Start Page128
Pagination128 - 139
Date Published02/2022

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease primarily targeting the joints. Autoreactive immune cells involved in RA affect other tissues, including skeletal muscle. Patients with RA experience diminished physical function, limited mobility, reduced muscle function, chronic pain, and increased mortality. To explore the impact of RA on skeletal muscle, we engineered electrically responsive, contractile human skeletal muscle constructs (myobundles) using primary skeletal muscle cells isolated from the vastus lateralis muscle of 11 RA patients (aged 57-74) and 10 aged healthy donors (aged 55-76), as well as from the hamstring muscle of six young healthy donors (less than 18 years of age) as a benchmark. Since all patients were receiving treatment for the disease, RA disease activity was mild. In 2D culture, RA myoblast purity, growth rate, and senescence were not statistically different than aged controls; however, RA myoblast purity showed greater variance compared to controls. Surprisingly, in 3D culture, contractile force production by RA myobundles was greater compared to aged controls. In support of this finding, assessment of RA myofiber maturation showed increased area of sarcomeric α-actinin (SAA) expression over time compared to aged controls. Furthermore, a linear regression test indicated a positive correlation between SAA protein levels and tetanus force production in RA and controls. Our findings suggest that medications prescribed to RA patients may maintain-or even enhance-muscle function, and this effect is retained and observed in in vitro culture. Future studies regarding the effects of RA therapeutics on RA skeletal muscle, in vivo and in vitro, are warranted.

Short TitleJ Tissue Eng Regen Med