Published: June 1, 2009

Treatment of injured, diseased or aging muscle tissues in humans, including damage wreaked by muscular dystrophy, may reach new heights, thanks to a recent discovery by a CU research team. The scientists, including Kathleen Tanaka (EPOBio’92), identified a type of skeletal muscle stem cell that contributes to the repair of damaged muscles in mice and has implications for a number of human diseases.

The newly identified stem cells play an important role in populations of satellite cells, which make more specialized muscle cells and repair the muscle when muscle fibers are stressed or traumatized. The newly discovered stem cells, dubbed “satellite-SP” cells, renewed these satellite cell populations after injection into injured muscle cells, contributing to recovery of muscle tissue in laboratory mice.