A UCLA-led research team has identified a chemical cocktail that enables the production of large numbers of muscle stem cells, which can self-renew and give rise to all types of skeletal muscle cells.
The advance could lead to the development of stem cell-based therapies for muscle loss or damage due to injury, age or disease. The research was published in Nature Biomedical Engineering.
Muscle stem cells are responsible for muscle growth, repair and regeneration following injury throughout a person’s life. In fully grown adults, muscle stem cells are quiescent — they remain inactive until they are called to respond to injury by self-replicating and creating all of the cell types necessary to repair damaged tissue.
But that regenerative capacity decreases as people age; it also can be compromised by traumatic injuries and by genetic diseases such as Duchenne muscular…