The American journal of pathology

Slow-adhering stem cells derived from injured skeletal muscle have improved regenerative capacity.

PMID 21684246


A wide variety of myogenic cell sources have been used for repair of injured and diseased muscle including muscle stem cells, which can be isolated from skeletal muscle as a group of slow-adhering cells on a collagen-coated surface. The therapeutic use of muscle stem cells for improving muscle regeneration is promising; however, the effect of injury on their characteristics and engraftment potential has yet to be described. In the present study, slow-adhering stem cells (SASCs) from both laceration-injured and control noninjured skeletal muscles in mice were isolated and studied. Migration and proliferation rates, multidifferentiation potentials, and differences in gene expression in both groups of cells were compared in vitro. Results demonstrated that a larger population of SASCs could be isolated from injured muscle than from control noninjured muscle. In addition, SASCs derived from injured muscle demonstrated improved migration, a higher rate of proliferation and multidifferentiation, and increased expression of Notch1, STAT3, Msx1, and MMP2. Moreover, when transplanted into dystrophic muscle in MDX/SCID mice, SASCs from injured muscle generated greater engraftments with a higher capillary density than did SASCs from control noninjured muscle. These data suggest that traumatic injury may modify stem cell characteristics through trophic factors and improve the transplantation potential of SASCs in alleviating skeletal muscle injuries and diseases.