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 A multicenter comparison of quantification methods for antisense oligonucleotide-induced DMD exon 51 skipping in Duchenne muscular dystrophy cell cultures. PLoS One. 2018;13(10):e0204485 Authors: Hiller M, Falzarano MS, Garcia-Jimenez I, Sardone V, Verheul RC, Popplewell L, Anthony K, Ruiz-Del-Yerro E, Osman H, Goeman JJ, Mamchaoui K, Dickson G, Ferlini A, Muntoni F, Aartsma-Rus A, Arechavala-Gomeza V, Datson NA, Spitali P Abstract BACKGROUND: Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a lethal disease caused by lack of dystrophin. Skipping of exons adjacent to out-of-frame deletions has proven to restore dystrophin expression in Duchenne patients. Exon 51 has been the most studied target in both preclinical and clinical settings and the availability of standardized procedures to quantify exon skipping would be advantageous for the evaluation of preclinical and clinical data. OBJECTIVE: To compare methods currently used to quantify antisense oligonucleotide-induced exon 51 skipping in the DMD transcript and to provide guidance about the method to use. METHODS: Six laboratories shared blinded RNA samples from Duchenne patient-derived muscle cells treated with different amounts of exon 51 targeting antisense oligonucleotide. Exon 51 skipping levels were quantified using five different techniques: digital droplet PCR, single PCR assessed with Agilent bioanalyzer, nested PCR with agarose gel image analysis by either ImageJ or GeneTools software and quantitative real-time PCR. RESULTS: Differences in mean exon skipping levels and dispersion around the mean were observed across the different techniques. Results obtained by digital droplet PCR were reproducible and showed the smallest dispersion. Exon skipping quantification with the other methods showed overestimation of exon skipping or high data variation. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that digital droplet PCR was the most precise and quantitative method. The quantification of exon 51 skipping by Agilent bioanalyzer after a single round of PCR was the second-best choice with a 2.3-fold overestimation of exon 51 skipping levels compared to digital droplet PCR. PMID: 30278058 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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