The limited proliferative capacity of normal diploid cells predicts that the utilization of cell divisions in vivo should reduce the lifespan of cells in culture. Because of the continuing demands for muscle regeneration in muscular dystrophy, myoblasts isolated from affected muscles should thus show a decrease in the number of cell divisions they are capable of expressing in culture. This hypothesis was tested by examining the proliferative capacity of myoblasts from different muscles for normal line 412 and dystrophic line 413 chickens of various ages. Prior to approx. 2 months of age, dystrophic myoblasts exhibited a relatively normal proliferative lifespan. By 5 months of age, myoblasts from the severely affected pectoralis major showed a 40% reduction in their proliferative potential, while myoblasts from the less affected posterior latissimus dorsi muscle showed a 25 % decrease in their cultured lifespan. The time course of the appearance of a decreased proliferative capacity only after the disease has been clinically manifested strongly supports it representing a secondary response rather than it being an intrinsic property of dystrophic myoblasts. A hypothesis for manipulating the pattern of stem cell division in order to increase the mass of muscle produced from a constant number of cell divisions is presented. If myoblast senescence and the consequent failure of muscle regeneration is a contributing factor in the progressive deterioration of muscle function in the disease, then this hypothesis might provide an important therapeutic strategy for ameliorating the course of muscular dystrophy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology