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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2003 Aug;35(8):1151-6.

Muscle satellite cells.

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Muscle Cell Biology Group, Faculty of Medicine, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 ONN, UK.


Skeletal muscle satellite cells are quiescent mononucleated myogenic cells, located between the sarcolemma and basement membrane of terminally-differentiated muscle fibres. These are normally quiescent in adult muscle, but act as a reserve population of cells, able to proliferate in response to injury and give rise to regenerated muscle and to more satellite cells. The recent discovery of a number of markers expressed by satellite cells has provided evidence that satellite cells, which had long been presumed to be a homogeneous population of muscle stem cells, may not be equivalent. It is possible that a sub-population of satellite cells may be derived from a more primitive stem cell. Satellite cell-derived muscle precursor cells may be used to repair and regenerate damaged or myopathic skeletal muscle, or to act as vectors for gene therapy. CELL FACTS: (1) Number of cells in body: 2 x 10(7) to 3 x 10(7) myonuclei/g, 20-25 kg muscle in average man; 2 x 10(5) to 10 x 10(5) satellite cells/g, i.e. approximately 1 x 10(10) to 2 x 10(10) satellite cells per person. (2) Main functions: repair and maintenance of skeletal muscle. (3) Turnover rate: close to zero in non-traumatic conditions-high in disease or severe trauma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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