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PLOS ONE  2012 

The Satellite Cell in Male and Female, Developing and Adult Mouse Muscle: Distinct Stem Cells for Growth and Regeneration

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037950

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Satellite cells are myogenic cells found between the basal lamina and the sarcolemma of the muscle fibre. Satellite cells are the source of new myofibres; as such, satellite cell transplantation holds promise as a treatment for muscular dystrophies. We have investigated age and sex differences between mouse satellite cells in vitro and assessed the importance of these factors as mediators of donor cell engraftment in an in vivo model of satellite cell transplantation. We found that satellite cell numbers are increased in growing compared to adult and in male compared to female adult mice. We saw no difference in the expression of the myogenic regulatory factors between male and female mice, but distinct profiles were observed according to developmental stage. We show that, in contrast to adult mice, the majority of satellite cells from two week old mice are proliferating to facilitate myofibre growth; however a small proportion of these cells are quiescent and not contributing to this growth programme. Despite observed changes in satellite cell populations, there is no difference in engraftment efficiency either between satellite cells derived from adult or pre-weaned donor mice, male or female donor cells, or between male and female host muscle environments. We suggest there exist two distinct satellite cell populations: one for muscle growth and maintenance and one for muscle regeneration.


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