Muscle regeneration occurs through activation of quiescent satellite cells whose progeny proliferate, differentiate, and fuse to make new myofibers. We used a transgenic Pax7-ZsGreen reporter mouse to prospectively isolate stem cells of skeletal muscle by flow cytometry. We show that Pax7-expressing cells (satellite cells) in the limb, head, and diaphragm muscles are homogeneous in size and granularity and uniformly labeled by certain cell surface markers, including CD34 and CD29. The frequency of the satellite cells varies between muscle types and with age. Clonal analysis demonstrated that all colonies arising from single cells within the Pax7-sorted fraction have myogenic potential. In response to injury, Pax7(+) cells reduce CD34, CD29, and CXCR4 expression, increase in size, and acquire Sca-1. When directly isolated and cultured in vitro, Pax7(+) cells display the hallmarks of activation and proliferate, initially as suspension aggregates and later distributed between suspension and adherence. During in vitro expansion, Pax7 (ZsGreen) and CD34 expression decline, whereas expression of PSA-NCAM is acquired. The nonmyogenic, Pax7(neg) cells expand as Sca1(+) PDGRalpha(+) PSA-NCAM(neg) cells. Satellite cells expanded exclusively in suspension can engraft and produce dystrophin(+) fibers in mdx(-/-) mice. These results establish a novel animal model for the study of muscle stem cell physiology and a culture system for expansion of engraftable muscle progenitors.
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"A major barrier to the development of stem cell-based therapies is the inability to generate large numbers of transplantable stem cells with the potential to both self-renew and differentiate. In general, the contribution of donor SCs to muscle regeneration has been shown to correlate with the number of cells transplanted (Bosnakovski et al., 2008; Sacco et al., 2008). Although transplantation of SCs in association with donor muscle fibers has been shown to enhance engraftment efficiency (Collins et al., 2005; Hall et al., 2010), biopsies, surgical specimens, and post-mortem tissue donations are expected to yield few cells relative to the number that will be required for therapeutic huSC engraftment , and techniques for the growth and manipulation of progenitor cells ex vivo are, therefore, expected to be an important element of cell-based therapies. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Adult skeletal muscle stem cells, or satellite cells (SCs), regenerate functional muscle following transplantation into injured or diseased tissue. To gain insight into human SC (huSC) biology, we analyzed transcriptome dynamics by RNA sequencing of prospectively isolated quiescent and activated huSCs. This analysis indicated that huSCs differentiate and lose proliferative potential when maintained in high-mitogen conditions ex vivo. Further analysis of gene expression revealed that p38 MAPK acts in a transcriptional network underlying huSC self-renewal. Activation of p38 signaling correlated with huSC differentiation, while inhibition of p38 reversibly prevented differentiation, enabling expansion of huSCs. When transplanted, expanded huSCs differentiated to generate chimeric muscle and engrafted as SCs in the sublaminar niche with a greater frequency than freshly isolated cells or cells cultured without p38 inhibition. These studies indicate characteristics of the huSC transcriptome that promote expansion ex vivo to allow enhanced functional engraftment of a defined population of self-renewing huSCs.
"To determine if the slowly dividing myogenic cells within myospheres could be satellite cells, myosphere-forming cells were isolated from ZsGreen Pax7 mice  . In these mice, the expression of ZsGreen is driven by the Pax7 promoter, so cells expressing Pax7 will also express ZsGreen, however unlike the YFP-MyoD iCre cells, when the promoter is no longer active, the ZsGreen expression fades and is quickly lost. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Previously, in an attempt to isolate stem cells that would be capable of regenerating injured skeletal muscle, we cultured cells derived from muscle, non-adherently, in serum-free media. As a result of the culture conditions used, these cells formed spheres, and thus were referred to as myospheres. It was found that myosphere-derived cells expressed Sca-1, a marker that is not typically associated with myogenic cells, and as a result has generated some questions as to the origin of these cells. The goal of this study was to clearly determine the origin of myosphere-derived cells, and in particular to answer the question of whether myospheres contain myogenic cells. To determine if myospheres were composed of myogenic cells without altering the structure of myospheres or the culture conditions used to maintain myospheres, I isolated these cells from yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)-Myf5, YFP-MyoD, and ZsGreen-Pax7 lineage-tracing mice and monitored their growth over time. I found that myospheres do contain myogenic cells, but that these cells are gradually lost over time (within 2 months). Additionally, the use of the lineage-tracing mice gave an interesting perspective into the composition of myospheres. I found that myospheres were composed of two distinct cell types, one that is myogenic (α7 integrin+) and contains cells expressing Myf5, MyoD, and Pax7, and a second that is non-myogenic (α7 integrin-) expressing platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα) and Sca-1, both of which have been associated with fibro/adipocyte mesenchymal cells.
"Cell sorting by fluorescence-activated flow cytometry provides a powerful tool for cell isolation. The selection of specific SC markers (e.g., Pax7) limits contamination by non-myogenic cells [92, 93]. Similarly, quiescent SC can be also isolated using SM/C-2.6 [94, 95], anti-integrin a7 [96, 97] or anti-syndecan 3/4  antibodies. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The skeletal muscle has the capacity to repair damage by the activation and differentiation of fiber sub-laminar satellite cells. Regeneration impairment due to reduced satellite cells number and/or functional capacity leads to fiber substitution with ectopic tissues including fat and fibrous tissue and to the loss of muscle functions. Muscle mesenchymal cells that in physiological conditions sustain or directly contribute to regeneration differentiate in adipocytes in patients with persistent damage and inflammation of the skeletal muscle. These cells comprise the fibro-adipogenic precursors, the PW1-expressing cells and some interstitial cells associated with vessels (pericytes, mesoangioblasts and myoendothelial cells). Resident fibroblasts that are responsible for collagen deposition and extracellular matrix remodeling during regeneration yield fibrotic tissue and can differentiate into adipose cells. Some authors have also proposed that satellite cells themselves could transdifferentiate into adipocytes, although recent results by lineage tracing techniques seem to put this theory to discussion. This review summarizes findings about muscle resident mesenchymal cell differentiation in adipocytes and recapitulates the molecular mediators involved in intramuscular adipose tissue deposition.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS