Regulation of Satellite Cells during Skeletal Muscle Growth and Development

Ronald E. Allen, Lucinda L. Rankin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    137 Scopus citations


    Satellite cells are myogenic cells attributed with the role of postnatal growth and regeneration in skeletal muscle. Following proliferation and subsequent differentiation, these cells will fuse with one another or with the adjacent muscle fiber, thereby increasing myonuclei numbers for fiber growth and repair. The potential factors which could regulate this process are many, including exercise, trauma, passive stretch, innervation, and soluble growth factors. Three classes of growth factors in particular (fibroblast growth factor, insulin-like growth factor, and transforming growth factor-β) have been studied extensively with respect to their effects on satellite cell proliferation and differentiation in culture. Fibroblast growth factor has been shown to stimulate proliferation but depress differentiation. Insulin-like growth factor stimulates both proliferation and differentiation, although the latter to a much greater degree. Transforming growth factor-β slightly depresses proliferation but inhibits differentiation. When administered in combination, these factors can induce satellite cell activities in culture which mimic those typical of satellite cells found in vivo in growing, regenerating, or healthy mature muscle. Alterations in the concentrations of these growth factors in the muscle environment as well as alterations in the cell's sensitivity or responsiveness to these factors represent potential mechanisms for regulating satellite cell activity in situ.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)81-86
    Number of pages6
    JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 1990

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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