Further Development 5.9: Fat and Muscle, and the Role of MSCs in Aging

Stem Cells: Their Potential and Their Niches

A mesenchymal cell type called fibroadipogenic progenitor (FAP) in skeletal muscle tissue functions to generate white fat cells (as the adipogenic part of the name implies). In response to muscle injury, however, FAP cells increase the rate of promyogenic differentiation of myosatellite stem cells (Joe et al. 2010; Pannérec et al. 2013; Formicola et al. 2014). In fact, the increased presence of FAP cells in the muscle stem cell niche has been suggested to serve anti-aging functions and reduce the effects of Duchenne muscular dystrophies (Formicola et al. 2014). This hypothesis is further supported by the link between MSCs and the premature aging syndrome Hutchinson-Gilford progeria (see Figure 1 in Further Development 5.1), which appears to be caused by the inability of MSCs to differentiate into certain cell types, such as fat cells, in individuals with progeria (Scaffidi and Misteli 2008). These findings lead to speculation that the loss either of MSCs themselves or of their ability to differentiate may be a component of the normal aging syndrome.

Literature Cited

Formicola, L., G. Marazzi and D. A. Sassoon. 2014. The extraocular muscle stem cell niche is resistant to ageing and disease. Front. Aging Neurosci . 6: 328.
PubMed Link

Joe, A. W. and 7 others. 2010. Muscle injury activates resident fibro/adipogenic progenitors that facilitate myogenesis. Nat. Cell Biol . 12: 153–163.
PubMed Link

Pannérec, A., L. Formicola, V. Besson, G. Marazzi and D. A. Sassoon. 2013. Defining skeletal muscle resident progenitors and their cell fate potentials. Development 140: 2879–2891.
PubMed Link

Scaffidi, P. and T. Misteli. 2008. Lamin A-dependent misregulation of adult stem cells associated with accelerated ageing. Nat. Cell Biol. 10: 452–459.

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