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Exp Cell Res. 1995 Oct;220(2):383-9.

The fate of myoblasts following transplantation into mature muscle.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Stanford University Medical Center, California 94305-5332, USA.


Cell transplantation has potential benefits for tissue replacement in the the enhancement of tissue regeneration and as cell-mediated gene therapy for systemic diseases. The transplantation of myoblasts into skeletal muscle also allows gene transfer into cells of the host since myoblasts fuse with host fibers thereby forming hybrid myofibers. The success of myoblast transplantation can be determined by a variety of measures, such as the percentage of myoblasts that fuse, the number of hybrid myofibers formed, or the level of transgene expression. Each measure is a reflection of the fate of the transplanted cells. In order to compare different measures of transplantation efficacy, we followed the fate of transplanted myoblasts expressing the marker enzyme beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) in two different assays. Two weeks after transplantation, the number of hybrid myofibers was determined histochemically, whereas transgene (beta-gal) expression was measured biochemically. To control for variabilities of transplantation among different animals, we obtained both measurements from each muscle by using alternate cryosections in the two assays. Within each individual muscle, both hybrid fiber number and beta-gal expression were maximal at the site of implantation and diminished in parallel with distance from the site. However, for determining the success of transplantation among groups of muscles, these two measures of efficacy yielded discordant results: the transplants with the highest number of hybrid fibers were not the transplants with the greatest beta-gal activity. Such discrepancies are likely due to regional variations at the transplantation site that arise when cells are introduced into a solid tissue. These results demonstrate the importance of multiple measures of cell fate and transplantation efficacy for studies of cell transplantation and for the application of such studies to cell therapy and cell-mediated gene therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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