Acute skeletal muscle injury: CCL2 expression by both monocytes and injured muscle is required for repair.
ABSTRACT CC chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), a ligand of CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2), is essential to mount an adequate inflammatory response to repair acute skeletal muscle injury. We studied the mechanisms by which CCL2 regulates muscle inflammation and regeneration. Mobilization of monocytes/macrophages (MOs/MPs) but not lymphocytes or neutrophils was impaired from bone marrow to blood and from blood to injured muscles in Ccl2(-/-) mice. This was accompanied by poor phagocytosis, reduced up-regulation of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and impaired muscle regeneration. Bone marrow transfer from wild-type mice to irradiated Ccr2(-/-) but not Ccl2(-/-) mice restored muscle inflammation. Intravenously injected CCL2-deficient bone marrow monocytes could not enter wild-type injured muscles as well as wild-type bone marrow monocytes. Intravenously injected wild-type bone marrow monocytes could not enter CCL2-deficient injured muscles as well as wild-type injured muscles. CCL2 stimulated IGF-1 expression by wild-type but not CCR2-deficient intramuscular macrophages. A single intramuscular injection of IGF-1, but not PBS, markedly improved muscle regeneration in Ccl2(-/-) mice. We conclude that CCL2 is a major ligand of CCR2 to recruit MOs/MPs into injured muscles to conduct phagocytosis and produce IGF-1 for injury repair. CCL2 needs to be expressed by bone marrow cells, circulating monocytes, and injured muscle tissue cells to recruit MOs/MPs into injured muscles. CCL2/CCR2 signaling also up-regulates IGF-1 expression by intramuscular macrophages to promote acute skeletal muscle injury repair.
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