Bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) have great potential as therapeutic agents. We report a method for inducing skeletal muscle lineage cells from human and rat general adherent MSCs with an efficiency of 89%. Induced cells differentiated into muscle fibers upon transplantation into degenerated muscles of rats and mdx-nude mice. The induced population contained Pax7-positive cells that contributed to subsequent regeneration of muscle upon repetitive damage without additional transplantation of cells. These MSCs represent a more ready supply of myogenic cells than do the rare myogenic stem cells normally found in muscle and bone marrow.
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