The success of cell therapy for skeletal muscle disorders depends upon two main factors: the cell source and the method of delivery. In this work we have explored the therapeutic potential of human muscle precursor cells (hMPCs), obtained from single human muscle fibers, implanted in vivo via micropatterned scaffolds. hMPCs were initially expanded and characterized in vitro by immunostaining and flow cytometric analysis. For in vivo studies, hMPCs were seeded onto micropatterned poly-lactic-glycolic acid 3D-scaffolds fabricated using soft-lithography and thermal membrane lamination. Seeded scaffolds were then implanted in predamaged tibialis anterior muscles of CD1 nude mice; hMPCs were also directly injected in contralateral limbs as controls. Similarly to what we previously described with mouse precursors cells, we found that hMPCs were able to participate in muscle regeneration and scaffold-implanted muscles contained a greater number of human nuclei, as revealed by immunostaining and Western blot analyses. These results indicate that hMPCs derived from single fibers could be a good and reliable cell source for the design of therapeutic protocols and that implantation of cellularized scaffolds is superior to direct injection for the delivery of myogenic cells into regenerating skeletal muscle.
Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.