Expression of Pannexin 1 and Pannexin 3 during skeletal muscle development, regeneration, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.


Pannexin 1 (Panx1) and Pannexin 3 (Panx3) are single membrane channels recently implicated in myogenic commitment, as well as myoblast proliferation and differentiation in vitro. However, their expression patterns during skeletal muscle development and regeneration had yet to be investigated. Here, we show that Panx1 levels increase during skeletal muscle development becoming highly expressed together with Panx3 in adult skeletal muscle. In adult mice, Panx1 and Panx3 were differentially expressed in fast- and slow-twitch muscles. We also report that Panx1/PANX1 and Panx3/PANX3 are co-expressed in mouse and human satellite cells, which play crucial roles in skeletal muscle regeneration. Interestingly, Panx1 and Panx3 levels were modulated in muscle degeneration/regeneration, similar to the pattern seen during skeletal muscle development. As Duchenne muscular dystrophy is characterized by skeletal muscle degeneration and impaired regeneration, we next used mild and severe mouse models of this disease and found a significant dysregulation of Panx1 and Panx3 levels in dystrophic skeletal muscles. Together, our results are the first demonstration that Panx1 and Panx3 are differentially expressed amongst skeletal muscle types with their levels being highly modulated during skeletal muscle development, regeneration, and dystrophy. These findings suggest that Panx1 and Panx3 channels may play important and distinct roles in healthy and diseased skeletal muscles.

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  1. Kyle Cowan

    Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

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