Muscle stem cells

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2009 Dec;21(6):748-53. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Nov 20.


Despite being mainly composed of highly differentiated contractile fibers, the adult skeletal muscle possesses the remarkable ability to regenerate, following injury. The cells that are responsible for this capacity are the satellite cells, a small population of adult stem cells positioned under the basal lamina of muscle fibers and that can give rise to both differentiated myogenic cells while maintaining a stem cell pool by a self-renewal mechanism. We will discuss here recent publications on the developmental origin of muscle stem cells, on the signaling pathways that affect their proliferation and differentiation, with reference to works on skeletal muscle formation in the embryo as well as the adult, using the mouse and chick as reference models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / cytology
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chick Embryo
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / embryology
  • Precursor Cells, B-Lymphoid / cytology
  • Precursor Cells, B-Lymphoid / metabolism
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / cytology*
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism