Skeletal muscle development and regeneration

Stem Cells Dev. 2007 Oct;16(5):857-68. doi: 10.1089/scd.2007.0058.


In the late stages of muscle development, a unique cell population emerges that is a key player in postnatal muscle growth and muscle regeneration. The location of these cells next to the muscle fibers triggers their designation as satellite cells. During the healing of injured muscle tissue, satellite cells are capable of forming completely new muscle fibers or restoring damaged muscle fibers. A major problem in muscle healing is the formation of dysfunctional scar tissue, which leads to incomplete functional recovery. Therefore, the identification of factors that improve the process of muscle healing and reduce the formation of scar tissue is of great interest. Because satellite cells possess the capability of self-renewal, a unique feature of stem cells, they play a central role in the search for therapies to improve muscle healing. Growth factor-based and (satellite) cell-based therapies are being investigated to treat minor muscle injuries and intrinsic muscle defects. Major muscle injury that involves the loss of muscle tissue requires the use of scaffolds with or without (satellite) cells. Scaffolds are also being developed to generate muscle tissue in vitro. These approaches aim to restore the structure and function of the injured muscle without dysfunctional scarring.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Muscle Development / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / growth & development
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Regeneration / physiology*