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Nat Biotechnol. 2007 Sep;25(9):1025-34. Epub 2007 Sep 2.

Prospective identification of myogenic endothelial cells in human skeletal muscle.

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Stem Cell Research Center, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Children's Hospital and School of Medicine, 4100 Rangos Research Center, 3460 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2583, USA.


We document anatomic, molecular and developmental relationships between endothelial and myogenic cells within human skeletal muscle. Cells coexpressing myogenic and endothelial cell markers (CD56, CD34, CD144) were identified by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. These myoendothelial cells regenerate myofibers in the injured skeletal muscle of severe combined immunodeficiency mice more effectively than CD56+ myogenic progenitors. They proliferate long term, retain a normal karyotype, are not tumorigenic and survive better under oxidative stress than CD56+ myogenic cells. Clonally derived myoendothelial cells differentiate into myogenic, osteogenic and chondrogenic cells in culture. Myoendothelial cells are amenable to biotechnological handling, including purification by flow cytometry and long-term expansion in vitro, and may have potential for the treatment of human muscle disease.

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