When our muscles are injured they need to repair themselves. Satellite cells are a kind of stem cell essential for muscle regeneration. They develop into new muscle cells to replace damaged ones. But in people with certain muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy, the satellite cells are unable to produce a protein – called collagen VI – that’s vital to their proper operation. Pictured are muscle cells of mice that are also unable to produce collagen VI, but have been grafted with a different cell type – fibroblasts – that can produce it for them. Collagen VI (stained light pink) from the fibroblasts is seen flooding the muscle, which leads to greatly improved satellite cell activity. This research holds promise for treating a wide range of muscle disorders.
Written by Robin Hersom
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