Our research focuses on the origin and regulation of myogenic stem cells in skeletal muscle. Our long-term goal is to identify means to ameliorate age-related muscle deterioration (sarcopenia) and muscle wasting disorders due to muscular dystrophy. Sarcopenia is characterized by a decline in mass, strength, and endurance of skeletal muscles, and by fat accumulation between and within myofibers. Subtle muscle injuries that occur during routine muscle activity raise a continuous demand for functional myofiber repair throughout life. However, myogenic stem cell performance declines in old age and this decline can be a contributory factor to sarcopenia. In Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the myofibers are deteriorating in early age with exhaustion of myogenic stem cells and enhanced presence of inflammatory cells and fibrosis. Hence, the identification of means to deliver donor cells that may be able to support the muscle tissue is important. We investigate satellite cells, classically defined tissue specific myogenic stem cells that reside beneath the myofiber basal lamina, as well as non-myogenic progenitors associated with the microvasculature that may contribute to myogenesis by myogenic reprogramming. We are also interested in the origin and regulation of adipogenic progenitors in skeletal muscles.
Copyright © 2003-2013 Molecular & Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington
Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center | University of Washington
Institute for Systems Biology | Seattle Biomed