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Hum Mol Genet. 2001 Sep 15;10(19):2079-87.

Defective satellite cells in congenital myotonic dystrophy.

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CNRS UMR 7000, Faculté de Médecine Pitié-Salpêtrière, Université Paris 6, 105 boulevard de l'Hôpital, 75634 Paris Cedex 13, France.


In this study we have developed an in vitro cell culture system which displays the majority of the defects previously described for congenital myotonic dystrophy (CDM) muscle in vivo. Human satellite cells were isolated from the quadriceps muscles of three CDM fetuses with different clinical severity. By Southern blot analysis all three cultures were found to have approximately 2300 CTG repeats. This CTG expansion was found to progressively increase in size during the proliferative life span, confirming an instability of this triplet in skeletal muscle cells. The CDM myoblasts and myotubes also showed abnormal retention of mutant RNA in nuclear foci, as well as modifications in their myogenic program. The proliferative capacity of the CDM myoblasts was reduced and a delay in fusion, differentiation and maturation was observed in the CDM cultures compared with unaffected myoblast cultures. The clinical severity and delayed maturation observed in the CDM fetuses were closely reflected by the phenotypic modifications observed in vitro. Since the culture conditions were the same, this suggests that the defects we have described are intrinsic to the program expressed by the myoblasts in the absence of any trophic factors. Altogether, our results demonstrate that satellite cells are defective in CDM and are probably implicated in the delay in maturation and muscle atrophy that has been described previously in CDM fetuses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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