The group transplanted muscle stem cells from healthy mice into mice with damaged muscles. Not only did the muscle stem cells spring to action, repairing the damaged muscle, but they maintained the mouse in its newly bulked up state for its entire two-year lifespan.
Stanford scientists have overcome one significant hurdle in developing a therapy for muscle-wasting diseases like muscular dystrophy. Until now, the muscle stem cells that stand at the ready to repair muscle damage couldn't be grown outside the safe confines of a muscle. Once uprooted from their home and transferred to a laboratory dish, they matured into less useful progenitor cells. That's a problem because once mature the cells no longer have the potential to be transplanted to repair muscle damaged by injury or disease.