Replacement of skeletal muscle could be a powerful tool the treatment of muscle-wasting conditions such as Duchenne dystrophy, but only a limited number of cell types are known to have myoregenerative properties. In 13 May Journal of Cell Biology, Zhuqing Qu-Petersen and colleagues from University of Pittsburgh, USA, describe a novel population of murine muscle stem cells, which can proliferate, make dystrophin and improve muscle regeneration (DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200108150).

Qu-Petersen et al. used a modified version of the preplate technique and isolated three novel myogenic cell populations from the muscle of healthy newborn mice. One population — the third to be examined — was composed of long-time proliferating cells that express hematopoietic stem cell markers. These cells can differentiate into muscle, neural and endothelial lineages both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, the transplantation of the long-time proliferating cells improved the efficiency of muscle regeneration and...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?