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J Clin Invest. 2003 Jan;111(1):71-9.

Distinct progenitor populations in skeletal muscle are bone marrow derived and exhibit different cell fates during vascular regeneration.

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Department of Pediatrics, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Vascular progenitors were previously isolated from blood and bone marrow; herein, we define the presence, phenotype, potential, and origin of vascular progenitors resident within adult skeletal muscle. Two distinct populations of cells were simultaneously isolated from hindlimb muscle: the side population (SP) of highly purified hematopoietic stem cells and non-SP cells, which do not reconstitute blood. Muscle SP cells were found to be derived from, and replenished by, bone marrow SP cells; however, within the muscle environment, they were phenotypically distinct from marrow SP cells. Non-SP cells were also derived from marrow stem cells and contained progenitors with a mesenchymal phenotype. Muscle SP and non-SP cells were isolated from Rosa26 mice and directly injected into injured muscle of genetically matched recipients. SP cells engrafted into endothelium during vascular regeneration, and non-SP cells engrafted into smooth muscle. Thus, distinct populations of vascular progenitors are resident within skeletal muscle, are derived from bone marrow, and exhibit different cell fates during injury-induced vascular regeneration.

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