Dysferlin deficiency leads to a peculiar form of muscular dystrophy due to a defect in sarcolemma repair and currently lacks a therapy. We developed a cell therapy protocol with wild-type adult murine mesoangioblasts. These cells differentiate with high efficiency into skeletal muscle in vitro but differ from satellite cells because they do not express Pax7. After intramuscular or intra-arterial administration to SCID/BlAJ mice, a novel model of dysferlinopathy, wild-type mesoangioblasts efficiently colonized dystrophic muscles and partially restored dysferlin expression. Nevertheless, functional assays performed on isolated single fibers from transplanted muscles showed a normal repairing ability of the membrane after laser-induced lesions; this result, which reflects gene correction of an enzymatic rather than a structural deficit, suggests that this myopathy may be easier to treat with cell or gene therapy than other forms of muscular dystrophies. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
- A/J mice
- Stem cells