NCE (Year 4)

Our progress over the past year has advanced the aims of this work: 1) Determine the cellular phenotypes of human muscle stem cells as they differentiate into myoblasts, and 2) Determine the ability of human muscle stem cells at different stages of development to engraft, proliferate and differentiate into muscle in a mouse model of muscular dystrophy, and determine their functional and myo-mechanical effects on dystrophic muscle. We have derived early progenitor muscle cells from human embryonic stem cells. We have used a surface marker profile that we have characterized on endogenous human muscle stem cells to identify and induced human muscle precursors in our differentiation assays. We have tested various differentiation assays by transplanting human cells into mouse muscle. We are using the information gained from characterizing induced muscle cells to compare with endogenous muscle cells that naturally exist in order to learn how to efficiently derive human muscle stem cells that can be used to treat muscle diseases.