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Stem Cell Rev. 2007 Fall;3(3):226-37.

Intrinsic changes and extrinsic influences of myogenic stem cell function during aging.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5235, USA.


The myogenic stem cell (satellite cell) is almost solely responsible for the remarkable regeneration of adult skeletal muscle fibers after injury. The availability and the functionality of satellite cells are the determinants of efficient muscle regeneration. During aging, the efficiency of muscle regeneration declines, suggesting that the functionality of satellite cells and their progeny may be altered. Satellite cells do not sit in isolation but rather are surrounded by, and influenced by, many extrinsic factors within the muscle tissue that can alter their functionality. These factors likely change during aging and impart both reversible and irreversible changes to the satellite cells and on their proliferating progeny. In this review, we discuss the possible mechanisms of impaired muscle regeneration with respect to the biology of satellite cells. Future studies that enhance our understanding of the interactions between stem cells and the environment in which they reside will offer promise for therapeutic applications in age-related diseases.

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