Isolation and Culture of Satellite Cells from Mouse Skeletal Muscle

  • Antonio MusaròEmail author
  • Silvia Carosio
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1553)


Skeletal muscle tissue is characterized by a population of quiescent mononucleated myoblasts, localized between the basal lamina and sarcolemma of myofibers, known as satellite cells. Satellite cells play a pivotal role in muscle homeostasis and are the major source of myogenic precursors in mammalian muscle regeneration.

This chapter describes protocols for isolation and culturing satellite cells isolated from mouse skeletal muscles. The classical procedure, which will be discussed extensively in this chapter, involves the enzymatic dissociation of skeletal muscles, while the alternative method involves isolation of satellite cells from isolated myofibers in which the satellite cells remain in their in situ position underneath the myofiber basal lamina.

In particular, we discuss the technical aspect of satellite cell isolation, the methods necessary to enrich the satellite cell fraction and the culture conditions that optimize proliferation and myotube formation of mouse satellite cells.

Key words

Satellite cells isolation Muscle primary culture Cell culture Muscle differentiation Myogenic program 



Work in the authors’ laboratory has been supported by ASI, Telethon, PRIN, and Fondazione Roma.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto Pasteur-Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti,DAHFMO-unit of Histology and Medical Embryology, Interuniversity Institute of MyologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Center for Life Nano Science@SapienzaIstitutoItaliano di TecnologiaRomeItaly

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