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Apoptosis. 2003 Dec;8(6):573-8.

Satellite cell depletion in degenerative skeletal muscle.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Health Systems, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


Adult skeletal muscle has the striking ability to repair and regenerate itself after injury. This would not be possible without satellite cells, a subpopulation of cells existing at the margin of the myofiber. Under most conditions, satellite cells are quiescent, but they are activated in response to trauma, enabling them to guide skeletal muscle regeneration. In degenerative skeletal muscle states, including motor nerve denervation, advanced age, atrophy secondary to deconditioning or immobilization, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, satellite cell numbers and proliferative potential significantly decrease, contributing to a diminution of skeletal muscle's regenerative capacity and contractility. This review will highlight the fate of satellite cells in several degenerative conditions involving skeletal muscle, and will attempt to gauge the relative contributions of apoptosis, senescence, impaired proliferative potential, and host factors to satellite cell dysfunction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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