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Muscle stem cells are adult stem cells, present in skeletal muscle tissue, which can self-renew and are capable of giving rise to skeletal muscle cells. These stem cells are activated in response to muscle injury to regenerate damaged muscle tissue.
Myoblast fusion is essential for skeletal muscle development and regeneration. Here the authors show that MyD88 is upregulated during myogenesis and during muscle growth, signals via the NF-κB and Wnt pathways, and that its expression modulates myoblast fusion and myofiber size in mice.
Mesodermal iPSC-derived progenitors (MiPs) can regenerate both skeletal and cardiac muscle. Here, the authors show that a microRNA cocktail stimulates skeletal muscle differentiation and that human MiPs can engraft into striated muscle in mice.
Strategies aimed at promoting muscle regeneration to treat muscular dystrophy have met with limited success. Here the authors show instead that delaying muscle regeneration, by ablation of the transcription factor Nfix, ameliorates muscular dystrophy in mice.
Skeletal muscles are composed of different types of fibres. Can these be thought of as distinct lineages with specific lineage-restricted progenitors? A provocative study now proposes that mesenchymal cells expressing the transcription factor Twist2 act as myogenic progenitors with selective type IIb fibre-differentiation potential.
Two recent studies have shown that alterations in muscle stem cell–niche interactions during aging underlie the functional decline in regenerative potential. The reconstitution of this communication restores stem cell function and enhances skeletal muscle repair.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a devastating X-linked disease that is characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and caused by mutations in dystrophin. Dystrophin is critical for myofiber structural integrity, but a new study reveals an additional important role for this protein in muscle stem cells.