The balance among quiescence, differentiation, and self-renewal of skeletal muscle stem cells (MuSCs) is tightly regulated by their intrinsic and extrinsic properties from the niche. How the niche controls MuSC fate remains unclear. Ribonucleotide reductase M2B (Rrm2b) modulates MuSC quiescence/differentiation in muscle in response to injury. Rrm2b knockout in myofibers, but not in MuSCs, led to weakness of muscles, such as a loss of muscle mass and strength. After muscle injury, damaged myofibers were more efficiently repaired in the Rrm2b myofiber-specific knockout mice than the control mice, but these myofibers were thinner and showed weak functioning. Rrm2b-deleted myofibers released several myokines, which trigger MuSCs to differentiate but not re-enter the quiescent stage to replenish the stem cell pool. Overall, Rrm2b in the myofibers plays a critical role in modulating the MuSC fate by modifying the microenvironment, and it may lead to a possible strategy to treat muscle disorders.
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