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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Aug 5;100(16):9336-41. Epub 2003 Jul 28.

Skeletal muscle engraftment potential of adult mouse skin side population cells.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Department of Medicine, 320 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Adult bone marrow and skeletal muscle have been shown to contain a subpopulation of cells, called side population (SP) cells, that can be isolated with the fluorescence-activated cell sorter. We used a similar method to identify SP cells in the skin of adult mice. These cells express surface markers similar to SP cells isolated from skeletal muscle, but differ from bone marrow SP cells and do not express hematopoietic markers. When transplanted into nonirradiated mdx mice, nuclei from donor skin SP cells are found within myofibers that express dystrophin. Thus, adult skin SP cells can engraft in dystrophic skeletal muscle even in the absence of total body irradiation.

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