Mature Adult Dystrophic Mouse Muscle Environment Does Not Impede Efficient Engrafted Satellite Cell Regeneration and Self-Renewal§


  • Author contributions: L.B.: performed the majority of the experimental work, collated the data, prepared the images, wrote the paper; P.Z.: is the co-applicant on the grant, provided intellectual input into the project, contributed to the writing of the paper; F.M.: is the head of the department where the work was performed, provided intellectual input into the work, critical reading of the manuscript; J.M.: is the PI on the grant that funds the project, provided intellectual input, performed part of the cell injections, and contributed to the writing of the paper.

  • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

  • §

    First published online in STEM CELLS EXPRESS July 2, 2009; available online without subscription throught the open access option.


Changes that occur in the skeletal muscle environment with the progress of muscular dystrophies may affect stem cell function and result in impaired muscle regeneration. It has previously been suggested that the success of stem cell transplantation could therefore be dependent both on the properties of the cell itself and on the host muscle environment. Here we engrafted young and mature adult mdx-nude mice, which are the genetic homolog of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, with a small number of satellite cells freshly isolated from young, normal donor mice. We found that the donor satellite cells contributed to muscle regeneration and self-renewal as efficiently within mature adult, as in young, dystrophic host muscle. Donor-derived satellite cells also contributed to robust regeneration after further injury, showing that they were functional despite the more advanced dystrophic muscle environment. These findings provide evidence that muscle tissue in a later stage of dystrophy may be effectively treated by stem cells. STEM CELLS 2009;27:2478–2487