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Stem Cell Rev. 2013 Feb;9(1):93-109. doi: 10.1007/s12015-012-9380-9.

Systemic delivery of human mesenchymal stromal cells combined with IGF-1 enhances muscle functional recovery in LAMA2 dy/2j dystrophic mice.

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Human Genome Research Center, Department of Genetic and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Biosciences, São Paulo, Brazil.


The combination of cell therapy with growth factors could be a useful approach to treat progressive muscular dystrophies. Here, we demonstrate, for the first time, that IGF-1 considerably enhances the myogenesis of human umbilical cord (UC) mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in vitro and that IGF-1 enhances interaction and restoration of dystrophin expression in co-cultures of MSCs and muscle cells from Duchenne patients. In vivo studies showed that human MSCs were able to reach the skeletal muscle of LAMA2(dy/2j) dystrophic mice, through systemic delivery, without immunosuppression. Moreover, we showed, for the first time, that IGF-1 injected systemically together with MSCs markedly reduced muscle inflammation and fibrosis, and significantly improved muscle strength in dystrophic mice. Our results suggest that a combined treatment with IGF-1 and MSCs enhances efficiency of muscle repair and, therefore, should be further considered as a potential therapeutic approach in muscular dystrophies.

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