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Open Access Losartan Enhances the Success of Myoblast Transplantation

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Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a recessive X-linked genetic disease caused by dystrophin gene mutations. Cell therapy can be a potential approach aiming to introduce a functional dystrophin in the dystrophic patient myofibers. However, this strategy produced so far limited results. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a negative regulator of skeletal muscle development and is responsible for limiting myogenic regeneration. The combination of TGF-β signaling inhibition with myoblast transplantation can be an effective therapeutic approach in dystrophin-deficient patients. Our aim was to verify whether the success of human myoblast transplantation in immunodeficient dystrophic mice is enhanced with losartan, a molecule that downregulates TGF-β expression. In vitro, blocking TGF-β activity with losartan increased proliferation and fusion and decreased apoptosis in human myoblasts. In vivo, human myoblasts were transplanted in mice treated with oral losartan. Immunodetection of human dystrophin in tibialis anterior cross sections 1 month posttransplantation revealed more human dystrophin-positive myofibers in these mice than in nontreated dystrophic mice. Thus, blocking the TGF-β signal with losartan treatment improved the success of myoblast transplantation probably by increasing myoblast proliferation and fusion, decreasing macrophage activation, and changing the expression of myogenic regulator factors.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD); Inflammation; Myoblast transplantation; Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Unité de recherche de recherche en Génétique Humaine, Centre de recherche de CHUL, CHUQ, Faculté de médecine, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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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.
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