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Open Access Long-Term Contribution of Human Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells to Skeletal Muscle Regeneration in Mice

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Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are attractive for cellular therapy of muscular dystrophies as they are easy to procure, can be greatly expanded ex vivo, and contribute to skeletal muscle repair in vivo. However, detailed information about the contribution of bone marrow (BM)-derived human MSCs (BM-hMSCs) to skeletal muscle regeneration in vivo is very limited. Here, we present the results of a comprehensive study of the fate of LacZ-tagged BM-hMSCs following implantation in cardiotoxin (CTX)-injured tibialis anterior muscles (TAMs) of immunodeficient mice. β-Galactosidase-positive (β-gal+) human‐mouse hybrid myofibers (HMs) were counted in serial cross sections over the full length of the treated TAMs of groups of mice at monthly intervals. The number of human cells was estimated using chemiluminescence assays. While the number of human cells declined gradually to about 10% of the injected cells at 60 days after transplantation, the number of HMs increased from day 10 onwards, reaching 104 ± 39.1 per TAM at 4 months postinjection. β-gal+ cells and HMs were distributed over the entire muscle, indicating migration of the former from the central injection site to the ends of the TAMs. The identification of HMs that stained positive for human spectrin suggests myogenic reprogramming of hMSC nuclei. In summary, our findings reveal that BM-hMSCs continue to participate in the regeneration/remodeling of CTX-injured TAMs, resulting in ±5% HMs at 4 months after damage induction. Moreover, donor-derived cells were shown to express genetic information, both endogenous and transgenic, in recipient myofibers.
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Keywords: Bone marrow; Cell therapy; Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Human mesenchymal stromal cell; NOD/SCID mouse; Skeletal muscle regeneration

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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  • 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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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