Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fountain Of Youth: Molecular Switch Holds Key To Reserve Supply Of Muscle Stem Cells

Date:
March 12, 2007
Source:
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine
Summary:
After injury, even adult muscles can heal very well because they have a reserve supply of muscle stem cells, called satellite cells, which they can utilize for repair. Until now, it was unclear how this supply of satellite and muscle progenitor cells, out of which both muscle cells as well as satellite cells develop, keeps itself "fresh".

"Fountain of youth" for muscle cells: muscle stem cells, also called satellite cells (marked in red) enable muscles to heal very well. They are located between the membrane of a muscle cell and the layer surrounding it. A molecular switch keeps the reservoir of satellite cells "fresh", as researchers have now demonstrated.
Credit: Dr. Elena Vasyutina/Copyright: MDC

After injury, even adult muscles can heal very well because they have a reserve supply of muscle stem cells, called satellite cells, which they can utilize for repair. Until now, it was unclear how this supply of satellite and muscle progenitor cells, out of which both muscle cells as well as satellite cells develop, keeps itself “fresh”.

Related Articles


Developmental biologists Professor Carmen Birchmeier, Dr. Elena Vasyutina, and Diana Lenhard of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany, have now demonstrated that a molecular switch, abbreviated RBP-J, regulates this “fountain of youth”. If the switch is absent, the satellite cells generate muscle cells in an uncontrolled way, resulting in the depletion of the satellite cell reserves. As a consequence, too few muscles form during the developmental phase of a living organism and the fetus can no longer build up a reserve supply of satellite cells.

The MDC scientists’ research report, which could be of significance for the future development of stem cell therapies, has just been published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)*.

Muscle stem cells were discovered in the beginning of the 1960s. For a long time, researchers could only identify them with the aid of an electron microscope. These cells are located between the muscle cell membrane and the layer surrounding it (the basal membrane). It has been known for some time that satellite cells have characteristic surface molecules and transcription factors which allow researchers to find these cells more easily.

The RBP-J switch is involved in a signaling pathway which is critical for cell communication, the Notch signaling pathway, and is known to be a key mediator of signaling information. The signaling pathway plays a major role both in the development of a living organism and in the adult organism.

The researchers’ evidence that satellite cells and muscle progenitor cells preserve their stem cell character because RBP-J makes them persist in an earlier developmental stage takes on special significance against the background of previous stem cell therapy experiments. Other research groups have previously shown that muscles regenerate very well when satellite cells are directly injected into the muscles of mice. Moreover, due to this, the muscles also replenish their reserves of satellite cells. Influencing RBP-J could improve therapies that are based on satellite cells.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. "Fountain Of Youth: Molecular Switch Holds Key To Reserve Supply Of Muscle Stem Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070311202116.htm>.
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. (2007, March 12). Fountain Of Youth: Molecular Switch Holds Key To Reserve Supply Of Muscle Stem Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070311202116.htm
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. "Fountain Of Youth: Molecular Switch Holds Key To Reserve Supply Of Muscle Stem Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070311202116.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins