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Open Access Mesoangioblasts From Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy Display In Vivo a Variable Myogenic Ability Predictable by Their In Vitro Behavior

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Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is the third most frequent inherited myopathy. We previously demonstrated that mesoangioblasts can be efficiently isolated from FSHD muscles, although their differentiation ability into skeletal muscle was variably impaired. This correlates with overall disease severity and degree of histopathologic abnormalities, since mesoangioblasts from morphologically normal muscles did not show any myogenic differentiation block. The aim of our present study was to verify whether mesoangioblasts from differentially affected FSHD muscles reproduce in vivo the same differentiation ability shown in vitro by studying their capability to form new muscle fibers during muscle regeneration of experimentally damaged muscles. We show that a diverse ability of FSHD mesoangioblasts to engraft and differentiate into skeletal muscle of SCID mice is strictly related to the characteristics of the muscle of origin, closely replicating in vivo what was previously observed in vitro. Moreover, we demonstrate that mesoangioblasts obtained from severely affected muscles scarcely integrate into muscle fibers, remaining mainly localized in the connective tissue. This suggests a defective migration in response to chemoattractants released by damaged fibers, as indicated by cell migration assays in response to HMGB1 and very low levels of RAGE expression, along with a decreased ability to fuse or to appropriately trigger the myogenic program. Our study indicates that FSHD mesoangioblasts from unaffected muscles can be used as selective treatment to halt muscle degeneration in severely affected muscles, and suggests that pharmacological and molecular interventions aimed to ameliorate homing and engraftment of transplanted autologous mesoangioblasts may open the way to cell therapy for FSHD patients, without requiring immunosuppression or genetic correction in vitro.

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Keywords: Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD); Mesoangioblasts; Myogenic stem cells; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-08-01

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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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