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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Feb 21;103(8):2494-9. Epub 2006 Feb 13.

Regulating activation of transplanted cells controls tissue regeneration.

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  • 1Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Current approaches to tissue regeneration are limited by the death of most transplanted cells and/or resultant poor integration of transplanted cells with host tissue. We hypothesized that transplanting progenitor cells within synthetic microenvironments that maintain viability, prevent terminal differentiation, and promote outward migration would significantly enhance their repopulation and regeneration of damaged host tissue. This hypothesis was addressed in the context of muscle regeneration by transplanting satellite cells to muscle laceration sites on a delivery vehicle releasing factors that induce cell activation and migration (hepatocyte growth factor and fibroblast growth factor 2) or transplantation on materials lacking factor release. Controls included direct cell injection into muscle, the implantation of blank scaffolds, and scaffolds releasing factors without cells. Injected cells demonstrated a limited repopulation of damaged muscle and led to a slight improvement in muscle regeneration, as expected. Delivery of cells on scaffolds that did not promote migration resulted in no improvement in muscle regeneration. Strikingly, delivery of cells on scaffolds that promoted myoblast activation and migration led to extensive repopulation of host muscle tissue and increased the regeneration of muscle fibers at the wound and the mass of the injured muscle. This previously undescribed strategy for cell transplantation significantly enhances muscle regeneration from transplanted cells and may be broadly applicable to the various tissues and organ systems in which provision and instruction of a cell population competent to participate in regeneration may be clinically useful.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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