Generation of Skeletal Muscle Organoids from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells to Model Myogenesis and Muscle Regeneration

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 4;23(9):5108. doi: 10.3390/ijms23095108.


In vitro organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have been developed as essential tools to study the underlying mechanisms of human development and diseases owing to their structural and physiological similarity to corresponding organs. Despite recent advances, there are a few methodologies for three-dimensional (3D) skeletal muscle differentiation, which focus on the terminal differentiation into myofibers and investigate the potential of modeling neuromuscular disorders and muscular dystrophies. However, these methodologies cannot recapitulate the developmental processes and lack regenerative capacity. In this study, we developed a new method to differentiate hPSCs into a 3D human skeletal muscle organoid (hSkMO). This organoid model could recapitulate the myogenesis process and possesses regenerative capacities of sustainable satellite cells (SCs), which are adult muscle stem/progenitor cells capable of self-renewal and myogenic differentiation. Our 3D model demonstrated myogenesis through the sequential occurrence of multiple myogenic cell types from SCs to myocytes. Notably, we detected quiescent, non-dividing SCs throughout the hSkMO differentiation in long-term culture. They were activated and differentiated to reconstitute muscle tissue upon damage. Thus, hSkMOs can recapitulate human skeletal muscle development and regeneration and may provide a new model for studying human skeletal muscles and related diseases.

Keywords: human pluripotent stem cells; myogenesis; regeneration; satellite cells; skeletal muscle organoids.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Muscle Development / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Organoids*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells*