Japan Researchers Create Muscle Stem Cells from iPS Cells

Society Lifestyle Science Technology

Tokyo, July 3 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese team of researchers has produced muscle stem cells, which can regenerate muscles, from human induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells.

The team, comprising researchers from institutes including Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), transplanted the cells into mice and confirmed an improvement in their muscle function. The technology could be effective in treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a disease that causes severe muscle degeneration, according to the team.

An article on the study will be published in the online version of the U.S. science journal Stem Cell Reports on Friday.

Muscle stem cells repair skeletal muscle tissues damaged through harsh exercise or other stimuli. The research team focused on two types of genes that appear in the repair process and was able to efficiently create muscle stem cells from iPS cells.

The stem cells were inserted into the tibialis anterior leg muscles of mice with muscular dystrophy, and the team found that their muscle fibers recovered. The team also observed a slight improvement in power in the gastrocnemius leg muscle.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press