[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a human primary muscle cell culture model the behaviour of myoblasts (satellite cells) cultured in human serum obtained from either young or elderly individuals was studied. Serum was obtained from a total of 13 young (7 males and 6 females aged, 23-36 years) and 9 elderly (4 males and 5 females aged 69-84 years) subjects and used in a number of experiments. Myoblasts were extracted from human muscle biopsy samples taken from the vastus lateralis. In the first experiment myoblasts were isolated immediately after extraction from the biopsy in media containing human sera to examine its effects on the onset and progression of Ki67 and desmin expression. No effect of the age of the serum was observed at 3, 5 or 7 days of culture. In addition, cells were studied that had been expanded initially in optimum myoblast growth medium (GM, containing foetal calf serum and additional growth factors) prior to culture in medium containing 15% human serum. The proportion of proliferating muscle cells coexpressing desmin and Ki67 antigens after 46 h was again similar in the young and old serum conditions. Culturing these myoblasts in media containing 2% human serum to study their fusion and differentiation also resulted in no difference between young and old serum conditions in terms of the percentage of nuclei inside myosin heavy chain positive myotubes. Despite the variability of different samples of myoblasts, the age of the serum donor has no effect on the expression of any measured index.