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Characterization of Pax3 expressing cells from adult blood vessels. J. Cell Science

Publication Date: 
Goupille O, Pallafacchina G, Relaix F, Conway SJ, Cumano A, Robert B, Montarras D, Buckingham M.
J Cell Sci. 2011 Dec 1;124(Pt 23):3980-8. Epub 2011 Dec 8.
We report expression of Pax3, an important regulator of skeletal muscle stem cell
      behaviour, in the brachial and femoral arteries of adult mice. In these
      contractile arteries of the limb, but not in the elastic arteries of the trunk,
      bands of GFP-positive cells were observed in Pax3(GFP/+) mice. Histological and
      biochemical examination of the vessels, together with clonal analysis after
      purification of Pax3-GFP-positive cells by flow cytometry, established their
      vascular smooth muscle identity. These blood-vessel-derived cells do not respond 
      to inducers of other mesodermal cell types, such as bone, however, they can
      contribute to muscle fibre formation when co-cultured with skeletal muscle cells.
      This myogenic conversion depends on the expression of Pax3, but is rare and
      non-cell autonomous as it requires cell fusion. Myocardin, which promotes
      acquisition of a mature smooth muscle phenotype in these Pax3-GFP-positive cells,
      antagonises their potential for skeletal muscle differentiation. Genetic
      manipulation shows that myocardin is, however, positively regulated by Pax3,
      unlike genes for other myocardin-related factors, MRTFA, MRTFB or SRF. Expression
      of Pax3 overlaps with that reported for Msx2, which is required for smooth muscle
      differentiation of blood vessel-derived multipotent mesoangioblasts. These
      observations are discussed with respect to the origin and function of
      Pax3-expressing cells in blood vessels, and more general questions of cell fate
      determination and adult cell plasticity and reprogramming.