IRBM, working with the University of Rome’s Department of Biology, examined signaling pathways involved with the regulation of Fibro/Adipogenic Progenitors (FAPs). FAPs are muscle-interstitial progenitors mediating pro-myogenic signals that are critical for muscle homeostasis and regeneration. In myopathies, FAP adipogenesis goes awry, causing fat infiltrates and muscle degeneration. By combining pharmacological screening, high-dimensional mass cytometry and in silico network modelling with the integration of single-cell/bulk RNA sequencing data, the canonical WNT/GSK/β-catenin signaling was highlighted as a crucial pathway modulating FAP adipogenesis triggered by insulin signaling. This suggests FAPs have potential in mediating autocrine/paracrine responses in the muscle niche.
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