Many types of stem cells can be made by converting skin cells, but previous attempts to make muscle stem cells have faced limitations. In a recent study, researchers led by HSCI Principal Faculty member Konrad Hochedlinger developed an improved technique.
What they did:Researchers used a cocktail of proteins and small molecules to convert skin cells into muscle progenitor cells, which are similar to muscle stem cells but have a more specific development potential.
What they found:The muscle progenitor cells showed properties of muscle stem cells, including contributing to muscle regeneration in mice with leg injuries.
Why it matters:This technique could be applied to skin cells of patients with muscular dystrophy, in order to develop laboratory models or cell therapies.