Muscular Dystrophy Stem Cell Treatment

Muscular Dystrophy and Stem Cell Therapy

What is Muscular Dystrophy?

Muscular Dystrophy and Stem Cell Therapy

Muscular Dystrophy and Stem Cell Therapy

Muscular Dystrophy (MD) refers to a group of hereditary muscle diseases that weakens the muscles that move the human body.
Muscular dystrophies are characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue.

Nine diseases including Duchenne, Becker, limb girdle, congenital, facioscapulohumeral, myotonic, oculopharyngeal, distal, and Emery-Dreifuss are always classified as muscular dystrophy but there are more than 100 diseases in total with similarities to muscular dystrophy.

Most types of MD are multi-system disorders with manifestations in body systems including the heart, gastrointestinal and nervous systems, endocrine glands, skin, eyes and even brain.

The condition may also lead to mood swings and learning difficulties.


Effective myotube formation in human adipose tissue-derived stem cells expressing dystrophin and myosin heavy chain by cellular fusion with mouse C2C12 myoblasts.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 Apr 5;

Authors: Eom YW, Lee JE, Yang MS, Jang IK, Kim HE, Lee DH, Kim YJ, Park WJ, Kong JH, Shim KY, Lee JI, Kim HS

Stem cell therapy for muscular dystrophies requires stem cells that are able to participate in the formation of new muscle fibers. However, the differentiation steps that are the most critical for this process are not clear.

We investigated the myogenic phases of human adipose tissue-derived stem cells (hASCs) step by step and the capability of myotube formation according to the differentiation phase by cellular fusion with mouse myoblast C2C12 cells.

In hASCs treated with 5-azacytidine and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) for 1day, the early differentiation step to express MyoD and myogenin was induced by FGF-2 treatment for 6days. Dystrophin and myosin heavy chain (MyHC) expression was induced by hASC conditioned medium in the late differentiation step.

Myotubes were observed only in hASCs undergoing the late differentiation step by cellular fusion with C2C12 cells. In contrast, hASCs that were normal or in the early stage were not involved in myotube formation.

Our results indicate that stem cells expressing dystrophin and MyHC are more suitable for myotube formation by co-culture with myoblasts than normal or early differentiated stem cells expressing MyoD and myogenin.

PMID: 21473854 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Related Articles (Epi)genetic Modifications in Myogenic Stem Cells: From Novel Insights to Therapeutic Perspectives. Cells. 2019 May 09;8(5): Authors: Breuls N, Giacomazzi G, Sampaolesi M Abstract The skeletal muscle is considered to be an ideal target for stem cell therapy as it has an inherent regenerative capacity. Upon injury, the satellite cells, muscle stem cells that reside under the basal lamina of the myofibres, start to differentiate in order to reconstitute the myofibres while maintaining the initial stem cell pool. In recent years, it has become more and more evident that epigenetic mechanisms such as histon modifications, DNA methylations and microRNA modulations play a pivatol role in this differentiation process. By understanding the mechanisms behind myogenesis, researchers are able to use this knowledge to enhance the differentiation and engraftment potential of different muscle stem cells. Besides manipulation on an epigenetic level, recent advances in the field of genome-engineering allow site-specific modifications in the genome of these stem cells. Combining epigenetic control of the stem cell fate with the ability to site-specifically correct mutations or add genes for further cell control, can increase the use of stem cells as treatment of muscular dystrophies drastically. In this review, we will discuss the advances that have been made in genome-engineering and the epigenetic regulation of muscle stem cells and how this knowledge can help to get stem cell therapy to its full potential. PMID: 31075875 [PubMed]

Quick Contact Form