Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Muscle is plastic fantastic

12.12.2001


Some muscle cells are multi-talented.
© SPL


American Society for Cell Biology Meeting, Washington, December 2001

Stem cells’ fates are a multiple choice.


A single stem cell from adult mouse muscle can form enough blood cells to save another animal’s life - and still switch back to making brawn, researchers announced at the Washington meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology this week.



Stem cells found in mashed up muscle can migrate into the bone marrow and make blood cells1. Muscle contains many different types of cell, however, and the exact identity of the one responsible remains unclear.

Johnny Huard, of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, and his colleagues selected a group of adult mouse muscle cells that kept dividing for days and were marked by a distinct array of proteins.

When injected into mice whose bone marrow had been killed by radiation, the stem cells replaced it. Mice that would otherwise have died after 2 weeks survived for 6 months. And, when new blood stem cells were recovered and injected into a third mouse, they reverted to producing more muscle. This backtracking to their original job is the "most amazing thing", says Huard.

"It shows that cells can go in many different directions given the right environment," says stem-cell researcher Helen Blau of Stanford University in California. The traditional view - that stem cells progressively and permanently lose their initial ability to produce many cell types - is changing, she argues.

Rather than a one-way road of cell destiny, "It looks like a San Francisco highway", says Blau. Stem cells can go off at one exit to make nerve cells and rejoin to make liver cells when the need arises.

Embryonic stem (ES) cells may still have properties that adult stem cells lack, cautions Ron McKay of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Adult nerve stem cells are more likely to stop producing new nerve cells than are ES cells, he says, arguing for continued experimentation with the controversial human cells.

"I’ll say it because we’re in Washington: they [ES cells] grow without changing their developmental potential," he says.

Muscling in

"We weren’t looking for stem cells," explains Huard. He and his team were trying to find muscle cells that could restore the missing protein dystrophin in patients suffering from the wasting muscle disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). They wanted cells that were tough enough to survive transplantation into a patient.

They injected their selected cell group, labelled so that they could be tracked, into mice with a form of DMD. But the cells rarely turned up in muscle. Instead, Huard found them in heart, liver, lung, spleen - but mainly bone marrow. "I got sidetracked," he says.

Huard is now trying to coax his stem cells back to muscle by searching for the molecules that lure them there. Working muscle cells would bump up dystrophin levels. "It will be very exciting," he predicts.

To finally identify the elusive muscle stem cell, researchers must start from a single cell, warns Blau: even Huard’s group of purified cells could contain outliers with unknown effects. Such a technique identified an ’ultimate’ stem cell from bone marrow earlier this year2.

References

  1. Jackson, K.A. et al. Hematopoietic potential of stem cells isolated from murine skeletal muscle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 96, 14482 - 14486, (1999).
  2. Krause, D.S. et al. Multi-organ, multi-lineage engraftment by a single bone marrow-derived stem cell. Cell, 105, 369 - 377, (2001).


| © Nature News Service
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/nsu/011213/011213-9.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel
06.08.2020 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht Tellurium makes the difference
06.08.2020 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: ScanCut project completed: laser cutting enables more intricate plug connector designs

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...

Im Focus: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rare Earth Elements in Norwegian Fjords?

06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences

Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life

06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

06.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>