Baltimore, MD---Athletes, the elderly and those with degenerative muscle disease would all benefit from accelerated muscle repair. When skeletal muscles, those connected to the bone, are injured, muscle stem cells wake up from a dormant state and repair the damage. When muscles age, however, stem cell number and function declines, as do both tissue function and regenerative ability. Carnegie’s Christoph Lepper and team*, including researchers from the University of Missouri, investigated muscle stem cell pool size. In particular, they asked if stem cell number could be increased, and if there would be any associated functional benefits.
Using genetically modified mice, the