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Cell. 2010 Dec 23;143(7):1059-71. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.11.039. Epub 2010 Dec 9.

Short telomeres and stem cell exhaustion model Duchenne muscular dystrophy in mdx/mTR mice.

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  • 1Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Abstract

In Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), dystrophin mutation leads to progressive lethal skeletal muscle degeneration. For unknown reasons, dystrophin deficiency does not recapitulate DMD in mice (mdx), which have mild skeletal muscle defects and potent regenerative capacity. We postulated that human DMD progression is a consequence of loss of functional muscle stem cells (MuSC), and the mild mouse mdx phenotype results from greater MuSC reserve fueled by longer telomeres. We report that mdx mice lacking the RNA component of telomerase (mdx/mTR) have shortened telomeres in muscle cells and severe muscular dystrophy that progressively worsens with age. Muscle wasting severity parallels a decline in MuSC regenerative capacity and is ameliorated histologically by transplantation of wild-type MuSC. These data show that DMD progression results, in part, from a cell-autonomous failure of MuSC to maintain the damage-repair cycle initiated by dystrophin deficiency. The essential role of MuSC function has therapeutic implications for DMD.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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PMID:
21145579
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3025608
Free PMC Article

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