Wnt10b deficiency promotes coexpression of myogenic and adipogenic programs in myoblasts

Anthony M. Vertino, Jane M. Taylor-Jones, Kenneth A. Longo, Edward D. Bearden, Timothy F. Lane, Robert E. McGehee, Ormond A. MacDougald, Charlotte A. Peterson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Adult myoblasts retain plasticity in developmental potential and can be induced to undergo myogenic, adipogenic, or osteoblastogenic differentiation in vitro. In this report, we show that the balance between myogenic and adipogenic potential in myoblasts is controlled by Wnt signaling. Furthermore, this balance is altered during aging such that aspects of both differentiation programs are coexpressed in myoblasts due to decreased Wnt10b abundance. Mimicking Wnt signaling in aged myoblasts through inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase or through overexpression of Wnt10b resulted in inhibition of adipogenic gene expression and sustained or enhanced myogenic differentiation. On the other hand, myoblasts isolated from Wnt10b null mice showed increased adipogenic potential, likely contributing to excessive lipid accumulation in actively regenerating myofibers in vivo in Wnt10b-/- mice. Whereas Wnt10b deficiency contributed to increased adipogenic potential in myoblasts, the augmented myogenic differentiation potential observed is likely the result of a compensatory increase in Wnt7b during differentiation of Wnt10b-/- myoblasts. No such compensation was apparent in aged myoblasts and in fact, both Wnt5b and Wnt10b were down-regulated. Thus, alteration in Wnt signaling in myoblasts with age may contribute to impaired muscle regenerative capacity and to increased muscle adiposity, both characteristic of aged muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2039-2048
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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