PMID 29092672


Sarcopenia is defined as the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function due to age, and represents a major cause of disability in the elderly population. The contributing factors to the onset of sarcopenia are not well defined, but appear to involve age-dependent changes in both the tissue microenvironment and muscle progenitor cell (MPC) population. MPC transplantation has the potential to be a novel therapy for treatment of muscle dysfunction due to aging or injury, but has not shown significant clinical efficacy to date. The goal of this research was to use a rat model of skeletal muscle injury to examine the differential effects of age on MPC survival, differentiation, and tissue regeneration after transplantation. Fluorescently labeled MPCs, derived from young (YMPCs) and adult (AMPCs) donor rats, were transplanted in the injured tibialis anterior (TA) muscles of young, adult, and aged rats. Our results demonstrated that integration and maturation of YMPCs into mature myofibers were dependent on the age of the host microenvironment; whereas, the integration and maturation of AMPCs were less dependent on age and more dependent on intrinsic cellular changes. These data suggest that the age of both the host microenvironment and cells for transplantation must be considered when designing cell therapy regimens.