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Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2001 Sep-Oct;27(5):924-33.

Muscle-derived stem cells: characterization and potential for cell-mediated therapy.

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  • 1Growth and Development Laboratory, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and Bioengineering Department, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.


Skeletal muscle may represent a convenient source of stem cells for cell-mediated gene therapy and tissue-engineering applications. A population of cells isolated from skeletal muscle exhibits both multipotentiality and self-renewal capabilities. Satellite cells, referred to by many as muscle stem cells, are myogenic precursors that are capable of regenerating muscle and demonstrating self-renewal properties; however, they are considered to be committed to the myogenic lineage. Muscle-derived stem cells, which may represent a predecessor of the satellite cell, are considered to be distinct. This article considers the evidence for the existence of muscle-derived stem cells as well as their potential embryonic origin. Comparison of muscle-derived stem cells to bone marrow and hematopoietic-derived stem cells illustrates similarities and distinctions among these various stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cell research provides lessons for the isolation of a defined phenotype as well as for the expansion of the stem cells in vitro. Recent investigations highlighting the potential of stem cell transplantation for the treatment of muscular dystrophies are discussed.

(c)2001 Elsevier Science.

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