Skeletal muscle biology

Pathways that regulate the maintenance and repair of muscle tissue has important therapeutic implications in several metabolic and degenerative muscle diseases.

In collaboration with external partners and groups in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Hull, our research focuses on how nuclear hormone receptors could be targeted to enhance skeletal muscle fibre growth, maintenance and regeneration in metabolic and degenerative disorders associated with skeletal myopathies.


The impact of hyperlipidaemia in skeletal muscle redox biology and muscle stem cell function 

Title: The impact of hyperlipidaemia in skeletal muscle redox biology and muscle stem cell function 
Timeframe: 2018-2020
Funder: University of Hull sponsored studentship
Contact: Dr Antonios Matsakas

The aim of the project is to determine how hyperlipidaemia and obesity regulate skeletal muscle oxidative stress and impact on muscle stem cell renewal potential.

Excessive levels of reactive oxygen species may result in increased oxidative stress in several organs of the body. In turn obesity induces oxidative stress and the ability of skeletal muscle to recover after injury. The project aims to understand how diet and reactive oxygen species affect muscle stem cell function.


Crossroads between peripheral atherosclerosis, western-type diet and skeletal muscle pathophysiology: emphasis on apolipoprotein E deficiency and peripheral arterial disease. Sfyri P, Matsakas A.J Biomed Sci. 2017 Jul 8;24(1):42. doi: 10.1186/s12929-017-0346-8. Review. PMID: 28688452

Attenuation of oxidative stress-induced lesions in skeletal muscle in a mouse model of obesity-independent hyperlipidaemia and atherosclerosis through the inhibition of Nox2 activity. Sfyri PP, Yuldasheva NY, Tzimou A, Giallourou N, Crispi V, Aburima A, Beltran-Alvarez P, Patel K, Mougios V, Swann JR, Kearney MT, Matsakas A. Free Radic Biol Med. 2018 Dec;129:504-519. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.10.422. Epub 2018 Oct 17. PMID: 30342191

The role of platelet secretome in skeletal myogenesis 

Title: The role of platelet secretome in skeletal myogenesis
Timeframe: 2017-2019
Funder: University of Hull sponsored studentship
Contact: Dr Antonios Matsakas

This project aims to establish the molecular mechanisms that link platelet biology to skeletal muscle formation and regeneration.

Platelets are components of the blood that are responsible for the cessation of bleeding after injury. The project aims to study the mechanisms on how proteins isolated from human platelets can be used to promote muscle formation and regrowth after injury for exploitation in would healing and Regenerative Medicine.


Platelet biology in regenerative medicine of skeletal muscle. Scully D, Naseem KM, Matsakas A. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2018 Jul;223(3):e13071. doi: 10.1111/apha.13071. Epub 2018 Apr 19. Review. PMID: 29633517

Platelet releasate promotes skeletal myogenesis by increasing muscle stem cell commitment to differentiation and accelerates muscle regeneration following acute injury. Scully D, Sfyri P, Verpoorten S, Papadopoulos P, Muñoz-Turrillas MC, Mitchell R, Aburima A, Patel K, Gutiérrez L, Naseem KM, Matsakas A. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2018 Oct 19:e13207. doi: 10.1111/apha.13207. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30339324