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Spotlight on our recent research


We want to make sure that results from our research are communicated clearly to those with an interest in our work. To help this happen we are creating lay summaries of our main research studies, which you can find on this page. We would love to hear what you think of them so please leave comments to help us improve the future summaries.

 

New type of muscle stem cell identified

The Myology group of the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris has recently identified a new population of muscle stem cells. This study shows that these muscle stem cells called ‘progenitor interstitial cells’ (PICs) can be isolated from the muscles of very young mice. Once they are isolated and cultured in the laboratory, PICs are able to form new muscle. Indeed, once they are...

Using nitric oxide to sustain muscle regeneration

Adult muscle is maintained by a type of stem cell found in the muscle called a satellite cell. These satellite cells multiply and activate during normal muscle growth, and also when muscle is injured. This allows muscle to regenerate. Normally, satellite cells are able to renew themselves, but in muscular dystrophy repeated muscle damage occurs and the satellite cell supplies can run out....

Muscular dystrophy clinical trial results

Clinical trial shows combination therapy of nitric oxide delivery and an anti-inflammatory drug are safe for long-term treatment of adults with muscular dystrophy. 

Muscular dystrophies cause muscle breakdown, weakness, and can lead to paralysis and death. The only current treatment that is effective is corticosteroids, shown to increase muscle strength. However, we do not know if...

Stem cells found in blood vessels can help make muscle

Research has shown for the first time that a non-muscle type of cell can switch to help make muscle during normal growth. These cells, called pericytes, which are normally found on small blood vessels, were shown to also make both muscle fibres and muscle stem cells. Whilst it has been shown that in extreme situations pericytes can contribute to muscle repair, it was not known whether this was...

Satellite cells are vital for muscle repair and replacement

A recent scientific study has shown that a type of muscle stem cell called ‘satellite cells’ are essential for muscle fibre repair and replacement. Scientists had already identified several different types of muscle cell that can contribute to the formation of new muscle tissue. They are now investigating what exactly each of these cell types do and how they work. In this study, Ramkumar...

Basic research discovers new factor important for muscle formation

 A scientific publication from Margaret Buckingham’s research group at Institute Pasteur in Paris identified a new factor that is important for the development of skeletal muscle.

During the development of the embryo, muscles are formed from stem cells found in a structure known as the dermomyotome. These cells are specifically defined by the fact they produce a protein called Pax3...

Nitric oxide and ibuprofen treatment of mice with muscular dystrophy

A drug that releases both nitric oxide and ibuprofen improves muscle health and function in mice with muscular dystrophy

Muscle dystrophies are heritable diseases that lead to muscle breakdown, weakness, inflammation, and in severe cases, can result in paralysis and even death. Nitric oxide, normally produced in the body, can activate satellite cells that are able to replace dying...

Relief of Duchenne muscular dystrophy symptoms in mice using artificial chromosomes

Recently it’s been shown that relief of muscular dystrophy symptoms is possible using stem cells. In Duchenne muscular dystrophy the protein dystrophin normally found in muscles is absent. Scientists of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan showed that giving muscles in mice the correct 'recipe' for dystrophin (it's gene) meant that the right protein could be produced. To do this the...

An overview of stem cells which could be used to regenerate skeletal muscle.

There has been much effort by researchers to understand how skeletal muscle repairs itself and which cells are involved in this process. This article summarises a review by researchers in the group of Professor Giulio Cossu from the Stem Cell Research Institute, University of Milan from January 2010. The review discussed the different types of stem cells which could be used to repair muscles;...

Mesoangioblasts can be derived from reprogrammed cells and may be an effective future treatment for muscular dystrophies.

A recent study has shown that muscle stem cells called mesoangioblasts can be grown in the laboratory from induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS cells). Scientists think that mesoangioblasts transplants may be an effective treatment for muscular dystrophy but currently these cells have to be taken from donor who is a tissue ‘match’ for the patient, which is relatively rare. As IPS cells are...