Expression of the cell surface sialomucin CD34 is common to many adult stem cell types, including muscle satellite cells. However, no clear stem cell or regeneration-related phenotype has ever been reported in mice lacking CD34, and its function on these cells remains poorly understood. Here, we assess the functional role of CD34 on satellite cell-mediated muscle regeneration. We show that Cd34(-/-) mice, which have no obvious developmental phenotype, display a defect in muscle regeneration when challenged with either acute or chronic muscle injury. This regenerative defect is caused by impaired entry into proliferation and delayed myogenic progression. Consistent with the reported antiadhesive function of CD34, knockout satellite cells also show decreased motility along their host myofiber. Altogether, our results identify a role for CD34 in the poorly understood early steps of satellite cell activation and provide the first evidence that beyond being a stem cell marker, CD34 may play an important function in modulating stem cell activity.
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