Murray L. Barr Award Lecture. Studies of the dynamics of skeletal muscle regeneration: the mouse came back!

Biochem Cell Biol. 1998;76(1):13-26.


Regeneration of skeletal muscle tissue includes sequential processes of muscle cell proliferation and commitment, cell fusion, muscle fiber differentiation, and communication between cells of various tissues of origin. Central to the process is the myosatellite cell, a quiescent precursor cell located between the mature muscle fiber and its sheath of external lamina. To form new fibers in a muscle damaged by disease or direct injury, satellite cells must be activated, proliferate, and subsequently] fuse into an elongated multinucleated cell. Current investigations in the field concern modulation of the effectiveness of skeletal muscle regeneration, the regeneration-specific role of myogenic regulatory gene expression distinct from expression during development, the impact of growth and scatter factors and their respective receptors in amplifying precursor numbers, and promoting fusion and maturation of new fibers and the ultimate clinical therapeutic applications of such information to alleviate disease. One approach to muscle regeneration integrates observations of muscle gene expression, proliferation, myoblast fusion, and fiber growth in vivo with parallel studies of cell cycling behaviour, endocrine perturbation, and potential biochemical markers of steps in the disease-repair process detected by magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques. Experiments on muscles from limb, diaphragm, and heart of the mdx dystrophic mouse, made to parallel clinical trials on human Duchenne muscular dystrophy, help to elucidate mechanisms underlying the positive treatment effects of the glucocorticoid drug deflazacort. This review illustrates an effective combination of in vivo and in vitro experiments to integrate the distinctive complexities of post-natal myogenesis in regeneration of skeletal muscle tissue.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Mice
  • Muscle Proteins / analysis
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Muscular Dystrophies / physiopathology*
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Animal / physiopathology*
  • Regeneration / physiology*


  • Muscle Proteins
  • DNA