Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 185, Issue 3, pp 399-408

First online:

The effects of aging on satellite cells in skeletal muscles of mice and rats

  • Mikel H. SnowAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, University of Southern California, School of Medicine

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Myosatellite cells were examined and quantified at the fine structural level of resolution during aging of skeletal muscles in mice and rats. Satellite cells in the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles of animals between eight and 30 months of age appeared, according to morphological criteria, metabolically less active than those examined in immature muscles. In the soleus muscle of the mouse, satellite cells decreased in number from 4.6% at eight months of age to 2.4% at 30 months. This decrease appeared to be due to the passage of some satellite cells into the interstitial space as a result of the formation of external lamina material around the entire satellite cell surface.

Key words

Skeletal muscle Satellite cells Aging Regeneration Electron microscopy