Skeletal muscle regeneration and maintenance involve well-orchestrated and precisely regulated modulation of various cellular and molecular responses. Satellite cells also known as skeletal muscle stem cells are fundamental to this process. The self-renewing proliferation of satellite cells regiments the stem cell population and provides diverse myogenic cells. These progenitors proliferate, differentiate, fuse and lead to new myofiber formation. Satellite cells also exhibit non-cycling behavior or quiescence. Our team has been working towards identification of functions of satellite cells and their niche during the process of skeletal muscle regeneration and maintenance in both healthy and disease states. Using a combination of finely tuned conditions and advanced specialized high content screening techniques, we have identified optimized conditions to generate a population of sells that show distinct molecular and cellular characteristics of satellite cells. We termed them ‘satellite-like cells’ or SLCs. We further validated their highly migratory and regenerative potential in vivo (Figs 1-3).
Fig1. Myocea’s SLC (Left): most interstitial human nuclei (hLaminA/C+ cells) are PAX7+; non-myogenic cells are not observed; human skeletal muscle myoblasts (HSMM, Right) : most cells are PAX7-, highly heterogeneous, contain many non-myogenic cells
Fig3. Human skeletal muscle myoblasts (HSMM, Right) make clustered myofibers whereas Myocea’s SLCs are more dispersed and migrate to a broader area of muscle damage signifying better regenerative potential.
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