Purdue University Graduate School
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posted on 2022-07-19, 16:34 authored by Christopher KarglChristopher Kargl

Skeletal muscle is dependent upon its microvasculature to deliver oxygen and substrates to support the metabolic demands of muscle contraction. Skeletal muscle capillary density is determined by a variety of factors including muscle fiber metabolic phenotype and mitochondrial volume as well as prior exercise training status. Additionally, muscle microvascular density and function can diminish with age, contributing to several age-related muscle dysfunctions. Skeletal muscle fibers regulate their surrounding microvasculature through the release of angiogenic and angiostatic signaling factors. A robust increase in angiogenic signaling from skeletal muscle facilitates increases in muscle capillarization following endurance exercise. Extracellular vesicles (EV) are membrane bound signaling factors secreted by every cell type. Skeletal muscle-derived EVs (SkM-EVs) may help facilitate numerous signaling functions of skeletal muscle including between skeletal muscle and its microvasculature.

The primary aim of my dissertation research was to determine the signaling roles that SkM-EVs in regulating endothelial cell homeostasis and angiogenesis in states of aging and health. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the relevant literature. Chapter 2 represents an investigation into how age-related cellular senescence impacts the angiogenic potential of skeletal muscle progenitor cells. We found that stress-induced senescence increases release of small EVs and has pro-senescent and angiostatic effects on culture endothelial cells. In Chapter 3 we compared the release, contents, and angiogenic potential of SkM-EVs collected from primarily oxidative or primarily glycolytic skeletal muscle tissue in mice. We found that oxidative muscle tissue secretes more EVs than glycolytic muscle tissue, and the miR contents of EVs differ greatly between the two phenotypes. Additionally, EVs from oxidative tissue enhanced endothelial cell migration and tube formation compared to glycolytic tissue EVs, in a potentially nitric oxide mediated fashion. In Chapter 4, we tested how PGC-1α overexpression effected myotube EV release and angiogenic potential. We found that PGC-1α overexpression did not impact myotube EV release, but increased the angiogenic signaling potential of SkM-EVs. Chapter 5 is a brief summary of the results and limitations of the projects presented in Chapters 2-4, with a short discussion of potential future research directions.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Health and Kinesiology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Timothy Gavin

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Shihuan Kuang

Additional Committee Member 2

Andrea Kasinski

Additional Committee Member 3

Daniel Hirai

Additional Committee Member 4

Christopher Perry

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