New Method of Growing & Transplanting Muscle Stem Cells Holds Promise for Treatment of Muscular Dystrophy

According to a study published in the Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases, there is hope for those suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy as researchers have found a new method for growing and transplanting muscle stem cells.

Satellite cells are stem cells found in skeletal muscles. While transplantation of such muscle stem cells can be a potent therapy for degenerative muscle diseases, these cells tend to lose their transplantation efficiency when cultured in vitro. The researchers treated these stem cells with leukemia inhibitory factor, which effectively maintained the undifferentiated state of the satellite cells and enhanced their transplantation efficiency.

Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) is thought to be involved in muscle regeneration. The investigators found that when LIF-treated muscle stem cells were transplanted to skeletal muscle, they formed two to three times more muscle fibers as control cells did.

“To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the first report of the effect of LIF on the transplantation efficiency of primary satellite cells,” one researcher said. “This research enables us to get one step closer to the optimal culture conditions for muscle stem cells.”

This gives hope to those suffering from muscular dystrophy.

raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review ( and NaturalPath (, has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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