The emerging biology of muscle stem cells: implications for cell-based therapies

Bioessays. 2013 Mar;35(3):231-41. doi: 10.1002/bies.201200063. Epub 2012 Aug 6.


Cell-based therapies for degenerative diseases of the musculature remain on the verge of feasibility. Myogenic cells are relatively abundant, accessible, and typically harbor significant proliferative potential ex vivo. However, their use for therapeutic intervention is limited due to several critical aspects of their complex biology. Recent insights based on mouse models have advanced our understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling the function of myogenic progenitors significantly. Moreover, the discovery of atypical myogenic cell types with the ability to cross the blood-muscle barrier has opened exciting new therapeutic avenues. In this paper, we outline the major problems that are currently associated with the manipulation of myogenic cells and discuss promising strategies to overcome these obstacles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology*
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / cytology
  • Stem Cell Niche
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*