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Brain Nerve. 2012 Jan;64(1):39-46.

[Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-based cell therapy for muscular dystrophy: current progress and future prospects].

[Article in Japanese]

Author information

  • 1Department of Molecular Therapy, National Institute of Neuroscience, Tokyo, Japan.


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a devastating muscle disorder caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. There is currently no effective treatment for DMD. Muscle satellite cells are tissue-specific stem cells found in the skeletal muscle; these cells play a central role in postnatal muscle growth and regeneration, and are, therefore, a potential source for stem cell therapy for DMD. However, transplantation of satellite cell-derived myoblasts has not yet been successful in humans. Patient-specific induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are expected to be a source for autologous cell transplantation therapy for DMD, because iPS cells can proliferate vigorously in vitro and can differentiate into multiple cell lineages both in vitro and in vivo. Here, we discuss the strategies to generate muscle stem cells from iPS cells. So far, the most promising method for generating muscle stem cells from iPS cells is the conditional overexpression of Pax3 or Pax7 in the differentiating mouse embryoid bodies. However, induction methods for human iPS cells have not yet been developed. Thus, iPS cells are expected to serve as an in vitro disease model system, which will enable us to determine the pathology of muscle diseases and develop pharmaceutical treatments.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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