Heterogeneity of adult masseter muscle satellite cells with cardiomyocyte differentiation potential

Academic Article


  • Although resident cardiac stem cells have been reported, regeneration of functional cardiomyocytes (CMs) remains a challenge. The present study identifies an alternative progenitor source for CM regeneration without the need for genetic manipulation or invasive heart biopsy procedures. Unlike limb skeletal muscles, masseter muscles (MM) in the mouse head are developed from Nkx2–5 mesodermal progenitors. Adult masseter muscle satellite cells (MMSCs) display heterogeneity in developmental origin and cell phenotypes. The heterogeneous MMSCs that can be characterized by cell sorting based on stem cell antigen-1 (Sca1) show different lineage potential. While cardiogenic potential is preserved in Sca1+ MMSCs as shown by expression of cardiac progenitor genes (including Nkx2–5), skeletal myogenic capacity is maintained in Sca1- MMSCs with Pax7 expression. Sca1+ MMSC-derived beating cells express cardiac genes and exhibit CM-like morphology. Electrophysiological properties of MMSC-derived CMs are demonstrated by calcium transients and action potentials. These findings show that MMSCs could serve as a novel cell source for cardiomyocyte replacement.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Huang W; Liang J; Feng Y; Jia Z; Jiang L; Cai W; Paul C; Gu JG; Stambrook PJ; Millard RW
  • Start Page

  • 20
  • End Page

  • 30
  • Volume

  • 371
  • Issue

  • 1