Growth factors in skeletal muscle regeneration

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 1996 Oct;7(3):249-58. doi: 10.1016/s1359-6101(96)00029-9.


Adult skeletal muscles are able to regenerate after injury. This process is due to the activation of quiescent muscle precursor cells, also called satellite cells, which proliferate and differentiate to form new myotubes. In this regeneration process, several growth factors which come from the muscle and/or from the motor nerve and inflammatory cells have been shown to play key roles. However, most of our knowledge comes from in vitro studies, where, during myogenesis, proliferation of satellite cells is regulated by FGFs, TGF beta s, PDGF, IGF-I and II, while differentiation appears to be promoted mainly by IGFs. During regeneration in vivo, most of these factors have been shown to operate and interact. Other factors also appear to condition the regeneration process, such as LIF, which acts predominantly as a proliferative factor; and HARP/PTN/HB-GAM and other neurotrophic factors, which may be necessary for the formation of new neuromuscular junctions. TGF beta has a major influence on the reorganisation of the extracellular matrix. This review presents a critical summary of the known effects of growth factors on skeletal muscle regeneration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / physiology
  • Growth Substances / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / physiology
  • Regeneration*
  • Somatomedins / physiology


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cytokines
  • Growth Substances
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Somatomedins
  • pleiotrophin
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors