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Cell Tissue Res. 2010 Jun;340(3):549-67. doi: 10.1007/s00441-010-0978-4. Epub 2010 May 22.

Muscle-derived stem cells: isolation, characterization, differentiation, and application in cell and gene therapy.

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  • 1Shandong Medicinal Biotechnology Center, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Jinan, Shandong Province, China. aoppolle@126.com


Muscle tissue represents an abundant, accessible, and replenishable source of adult stem cells for cell-based tissue and genetic engineering. A population of cells isolated from muscle exhibits both multipotentiality and self-renewal capabilities. Satellite cells, referred to by many investigators as muscle stem cells, are myogenic precursors that are capable of regenerating muscle and that demonstrate self-renewal properties; however, they are considered to be committed to the myogenic lineage. Muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs), which may represent a predecessor of the satellite cell, are considered to possess a higher regeneration capacity and to exhibit better cell survival and a broader range of multilineage capabilities. Remarkably, MDSCs are not only able to differentiate into mesodermal cell types including the myogenic, adipogenic, osteogenic, chondrogenic, endothelial, and hematopoietic lineages, but also possess the potential to break germ layer commitment and differentiate into ectodermal lineages including neuron-like cells under certain conditions. This article reviews the current preclinical studies and potential clinical applications of MDSC-mediated gene therapy and tissue-engineering and methods for MDSC isolation, differentiation, and molecular characterization.

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