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Muscle Nerve. 2002 Jul;26(1):136-40.

High efficiency transfection of primary skeletal muscle cells with lipid-based reagents.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, 50 South Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-8017, USA.


Lipofection is a convenient method for gene transfer into muscle cells but reportedly is inefficient. We tested the efficacy of commercially available lipid-based and polyamine transfection reagents. Primary rat skeletal muscle cell cultures were transfected at three stages of development and assayed after fusion. Efficiency reached 30% during the proliferation stage and up to 23% when most myoblasts had fused into myotubes. Optimization of transfection conditions with three different vectors yielded efficiencies exceeding 50%. Thus, lipid-based transfection into primary skeletal muscle cells can be several times more efficient than previously reported.

Copyright 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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