Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 138, Issue 2, pp 187–199 | Cite as

Myogenesis and muscle regeneration



Skeletal muscle has received much attention with regard to developmental origin, control of cell differentiation and regeneration. In this article, early landmarks in skeletal muscle research are reviewed and recent findings on myogenesis are addressed with particular focus on novel regulatory molecules including miRNAs, as well as on the topographical heterogeneity of skeletal muscle origin. The latter has developed into a central theme of keen interest in the past years, particularly since overlaps in genetic and embryological background between head muscle subsets and heart muscle have been described. As embryonic myogenesis and regenerating myofibers employ common molecules, the heterogeneity in embryonic sources from which skeletal muscle groups in the vertebrate body take origin is closely reflected by differences in the susceptibility to particular muscle dystrophies as well as their regeneration potential. In the regeneration chapter of this review the progress that has been made in the field of muscle stem cell biology, with special focus on the satellite cells, is outlined. Satellite cells are considered the most promising source of muscle stem cells possessing a high regenerative potential. We shall discuss recent insights into the heterogeneous nature of these satellite cells not just in terms of their expression profile but also their regeneration potential. Latest findings about the motility of the satellite cell shall also be discussed. Furthermore, we shall outline the impact of an improved understanding of muscle stem cells within their environment, and of satellite cells in particular, on efficient stem cell replacement therapies for muscular dystrophies, putting embryological findings and stem cell approaches into context.


Myogenesis Muscle dystrophy Stem cells MRFs Pax genes miRNA 



The authors’ special thanks are due to Ms Helga Schulze for preparing the artwork of this article. We furthermore like to thank Dr. Mohammed Abdelsabour Khalaf for his valuable help concerning literature assembly. Part of the original work reviewed here has been supported by the DFG (Br 957/5-1, 5-2, 5-3), the Eu’s Sixth Framework Network of Excellence MYORES (511978), and FoRUM grant (6308100907) awarded to Beate Brand-Saberi, as well as by FoRUM grant F732N-2011 awarded to Faisal Yusuf.


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© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Molecular Embryology, Institute of AnatomyRuhr University BochumBochumGermany

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