Derivation of functional skeletal muscle stem cells from pluripotent cells without genetic modification has proven elusive. Here we show that teratomas formed in adult skeletal muscle differentiate in vivo to produce large numbers of α7-Integrin+ VCAM-1+ myogenic progenitors. When FACS-purified and transplanted into diseased muscles, mouse teratoma-derived myogenic progenitors demonstrate very high engraftment potential. As few as 40,000 cells can reconstitute ∼80% of the tibialis anterior muscle volume. Newly generated fibers are innervated, express adult myosins, and ameliorate dystrophy-related force deficit and fatigability. Teratoma-derived myogenic progenitors also contribute quiescent PAX7+ muscle stem cells, enabling long-term maintenance of regenerated muscle and allowing muscle regeneration in response to subsequent injuries. Transcriptional profiling reveals that teratoma-derived myogenic progenitors undergo embryonic-to-adult maturation when they contribute to the stem cell compartment of regenerated muscle. Thus, teratomas are a rich and accessible source of potent transplantable skeletal muscle stem cells. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Keywords: muscle stem cells; myogenesis; pluripotent stem cells; satellite cells; teratoma.
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