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Curr Chem Genom Transl Med. 2013 Sep 3;7:21-9. doi: 10.2174/2213988501307010021. eCollection 2013.

High-content screening of human primary muscle satellite cells for new therapies for muscular atrophy/dystrophy.

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Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, North Carolina Central University Durham, NC 27707, USA.
ZenBio Inc. RTP, NC 27709, USA.


Myoblast proliferation and differentiation are essential for normal skeletal muscle growth and repair. Muscle recovery is dependent on the quiescent population of muscle stem cells - satellite cells. During muscle injury, satellite cells become mitotically active and begin the repair process by fusing with each other and/or with myofibers. Aging, prolonged inactivity, obesity, cachexia and other muscle wasting diseases are associated with a decreased number of quiescent and proliferating satellite cells, which impedes the repair process. A high-content/high-throughput platform was developed and utilized for robust phenotypic evaluation of human primary satellite cells in vitro for the discovery of chemical probes that may improve muscle recovery. A 1600 compound pilot screen was developed using two highly annotated small molecule libraries. This screen yielded 15 dose responsive compounds that increased proliferation rate in satellite cells derived from a single obese human donor. Two of these compounds remained dose responsive when counter-screened in 3-donor obese superlot. The Alk-5 inhibitor LY364947, was used as a positive control for assessing satellite cell proliferation/delayed differentiation. A multivariate approach was utilized for exploratory data analysis to discover proliferation vs. differentiation-dependent changes in cellular phenotype. Initial screening efforts successfully identified a number of phenotypic outcomes that are associated with desired effect of stimulation of proliferation and delayed differentiation.


High-content screening; LY364947; muscle atrophy; phenotypic high-content analysis and satellite cell proliferation.

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