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Enhancing the proliferation potential of myogenic cells

Muscle regeneration is commonly held to be accomplished by endogenous myogenic cells but recent evidence has implicated circulating stem cells as a source of muscle precursors for regeneration. We have used single fibres isolated from the Myf5 nlacZ knock-in mouse to measure the amount of myogenic material produced by proliferation of satellite cells derived from a known quantity of skeletal muscle, to show that the satellite cells present in a young muscle are fully able to reconstitute that muscle over a 3-4 day period.

This corresponds closely to the in vivo time course for a cycle of muscle regeneration following acute injury and that there is no requirement for input from circulating sources. When we graft muscle derived myogenic cells into a damaged muscle, they affect a much better repair when the graft site has been pre-irradiated. Using a muscle cell line, we have shown that this effect is largely achieved by driving proliferation of the grafted cells and have begun to try to identify the changes in gene expression in the recipient muscle that underlie this effect with the idea of exploiting such knowledge to enhance muscle repair and regeneration.

Reported by

Medical Research Council, Clinical Sciences Centre
Hammersmith Hospital, Ducane Road
W12 0NN London
United Kingdom
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