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J Cell Mol Med. 2012 Jul;16(7):1353-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2011.01498.x.

Generation of skeletal muscle cells from embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells as an in vitro model and for therapy of muscular dystrophies.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Sciences, Dino Ferrari Centre, University of Milan, IRCCS Fondazione Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.


Muscular dystrophies (MDs) are a heterogeneous group of inherited disorders characterized by progressive muscle wasting and weakness likely associated with exhaustion of muscle regeneration potential. At present, no cures or efficacious treatments are available for these diseases, but cell transplantation could be a potential therapeutic strategy. Transplantation of myoblasts using satellite cells or other myogenic cell populations has been attempted to promote muscle regeneration, based on the hypothesis that the donor cells repopulate the muscle and contribute to its regeneration. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and more recently induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) could generate an unlimited source of differentiated cell types, including myogenic cells. Here we review the literature regarding the generation of myogenic cells considering the main techniques employed to date to elicit efficient differentiation of human and murine ESCs or iPSCs into skeletal muscle. We also critically analyse the possibility of using these cellular populations as an alternative source of myogenic cells for cell therapy of MDs.

© 2012 The Authors Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine © 2012 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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