Arntl deficiency in myeloid cells reduces neutrophil recruitment and delays skeletal muscle repair

After a muscle injury, a process comprising inflammation, repair, and regeneration must occur in a time-sensitive manner for skeletal muscle to be adequately repaired and regenerated. This complex process is assumed to be controlled by various myeloid cell types, including monocytes and macrophages, though the mechanism is not fully understood. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator-like (Arntl or Bmal1) is a transcription factor that controls the circadian rhythm and has been implicated in regulating myeloid cell functions. In the present study, we generated myeloid cell-specific Arntl conditional knockout (cKO) mice to assess the role of Arntl expressed in myeloid cell populations during the repair process after muscle injury. Myeloid cell-specific Arntl deletion impaired muscle regeneration after cardiotoxin injection. Flow cytometric analyses revealed that, in cKO mice, the numbers of infiltrating neutrophils and Ly6Chi monocytes within the injured site were reduced on days 1 and 2, respectively, after muscle injury. Moreover, neutrophil migration and the numbers of circulating monocytes were significantly reduced in cKO mice, which suggests these effects may account, at least in part, for the impaired regeneration. These findings suggest that Arntl, expressed in the myeloid lineage regulates neutrophil and monocyte recruitment and is therefore required for skeletal muscle regeneration.