Myogenic potential of adipose-tissue-derived cells

Giuliana Di Rocco, Maria Grazia Iachininoto, Alessandra Tritarelli, Stefania Straino, Antonella Zacheo, Antonia Germani, Filippo Crea, Maurizio C. Capogrossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adipose-tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells can be directed towards a myogenic phenotype in vitro by the addition of specific inductive media. However, the ability of these or other adipose-tissue-associated cells to respond to 'natural' myogenic cues such as a myogenic environment has never been investigated in detail. Here, we provide evidence that a restricted subpopulation of freshly harvested adipose-tissue-derived cells possesses an intrinsic myogenic potential and can spontaneously differentiate into skeletal muscle. Conversion of adipose-tissue-derived cells to a myogenic phenotype is enhanced by co-culture with primary myoblasts in the absence of cell contact and is maximal when the two cell types are co-cultured in the same plate. Conversely, in vitro expanded adipose-tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells require direct contact with muscle cells to generate skeletal myotubes. Finally, we show that uncultured adipose-tissue-associated cells have a high regenerative capacity in vivo since they can be incorporated into muscle fibers following ischemia and can restore significantly dystrophin expression in mdx mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2945-2952
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2006


  • Adipose tissue
  • Cell transplantation
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Myogenic differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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