TGF-β1 enhances contractility in engineered skeletal muscle

Michael R. Weist, Michael S. Wellington, Jacob E. Bermudez, Tatiana Y. Kostrominova, Christopher L. Mendias, Ellen M. Arruda, Lisa M. Larkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Scaffoldless engineered 3D skeletal muscle tissue created from satellite cells offers the potential to replace muscle tissue that is lost due to severe trauma or disease. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) plays a vital role in mediating migration and differentiation of satellite cells during the early stages of muscle development. Additionally, TGF-β1 promotes collagen type I synthesis in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of skeletal muscle, which provides a passive elastic substrate to support myofibres and facilitate the transmission of force. To determine the role of TGF-β1 in skeletal muscle construct formation and contractile function in vitro, we created tissue-engineered 3D skeletal muscle constructs with varying levels of recombinant TGF-β1 added to the cell culture medium. Prior to the addition of TGF-β1, the primary cell population was composed of 75% Pax7-positive cells. The peak force for twitch, tetanus and spontaneous force were significantly increased in the presence of 2.0ng/ml TGF-β1 when compared to 0, 0.5 and 1.0ng/ml TGF-β1. Visualization of the cellular structure with H&E and with immunofluorescence staining for sarcomeric myosin heavy chains and collagen type I showed denser regions of better organized myofibres in the presence of 2.0ng/ml TGF-β1 versus 0, 0.5 and 1.0ng/ml. The addition of 2.0ng/ml TGF-β1 to the culture medium of engineered 3D skeletal muscle constructs enhanced contractility and extracellular matrix organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)562-571
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Engineered skeletal muscle
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Scaffoldless
  • Tissue engineering
  • Transforming growth factor beta-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Weist, M. R., Wellington, M. S., Bermudez, J. E., Kostrominova, T. Y., Mendias, C. L., Arruda, E. M., & Larkin, L. M. (2013). TGF-β1 enhances contractility in engineered skeletal muscle. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, 7(7), 562-571.