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Adult stem cells use special pathways to repair damaged muscle, MU researchers find
Date:12/1/2011

would feel for the walls," Cornelison said. "Because the long, parallel muscle fibers carry these ephrin proteins on their surface, ephrin might be helping satellite cells move in a straighter line towards a distant 'mayday' signal."

If researchers gave the satellite cells the signals to differentiate and form muscle fibers in culture, the group also found that they could use stripes of ephrins to get them to arrange themselves in parallel, the way muscle fibers always do in living beings, but have never been persuaded to do in a culture dish. This leads researchers to think that ephrins might actually be regulating several of the different steps that are needed to get from a population of stem cells spread out all over the muscle, to an organized and patterned new muscle fiber.

"We are really excited about the potential of these findings to explain a lot of things that were puzzling about the way satellite cells behave in healthy muscle, compared to a muscular dystrophy patient's own cells, or cells that have been injected therapeutically," Cornelison said. "If we're really lucky, we could find something that could make a difference in these kids' lives, and that's what we want the most."


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Contact: Steven Adams
AdamsST@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

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