Systemic cell therapy for muscular dystrophies : The ultimate transplantable muscle progenitor cell and current challenges for clinical efficacy
SourceStem Cell Reviews and Reports, 17, 3, (2021), pp. 878-899
Article / Letter to editor
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Cell Biology (UMC)
Stem Cell Reviews and Reports
SubjectRadboudumc 19: Nanomedicine RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 7: Neurodevelopmental disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
The intrinsic regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle makes it an excellent target for cell therapy. However, the potential of muscle tissue to renew is typically exhausted and insufficient in muscular dystrophies (MDs), a large group of heterogeneous genetic disorders showing progressive loss of skeletal muscle fibers. Cell therapy for MDs has to rely on suppletion with donor cells with high myogenic regenerative capacity. Here, we provide an overview on stem cell lineages employed for strategies in MDs, with a focus on adult stem cells and progenitor cells resident in skeletal muscle. In the early days, the potential of myoblasts and satellite cells was explored, but after disappointing clinical results the field moved to other muscle progenitor cells, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Most recently, mesoangioblasts and pericytes have been pursued for muscle cell therapy, leading to a handful of preclinical studies and a clinical trial. The current status of (pre)clinical work for the most common forms of MD illustrates the existing challenges and bottlenecks. Besides the intrinsic properties of transplantable cells, we discuss issues relating to cell expansion and cell viability after transplantation, optimal dosage, and route and timing of administration. Since MDs are genetic conditions, autologous cell therapy and gene therapy will need to go hand-in-hand, bringing in additional complications. Finally, we discuss determinants for optimization of future clinical trials for muscle cell therapy. Joined research efforts bring hope that effective therapies for MDs are on the horizon to fulfil the unmet clinical need in patients.
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