Identification and Characterization of Adult Porcine Muscle Stem Cells

Doctoral thesis OPEN
Wilschut, K.J. (2009)
  • Publisher: Utrecht University

In the past decade, tissue-specific stem cell research has been emerging. Stem cells are characterized by a long-term expansion and a broad developmental potential in vitro. Pre-clinical studies appear promising, but still many limitations have to be overcome before broad therapeutic use of stem cells is save and efficient. Meanwhile, the use of stem cells for drug screening and toxicology studies are also beneficial to biomedical science. To cure muscular dystrophy no efficient therapy exists. Stem cells can be used to replace the affected tissue with newly formed fibers. Besides biomedical applications, stem cell technology can also be used for the generation of cultured meat for human consumption (‘in vitro meat’). By this we can offer an alternative to the bio-industry by using stem cell technology for large expansion of farm animal-derived stem cells and subsequently the formation of muscle tissue in an in vitro culture system. In this PhD project we observed that muscle tissue is a rich source of various stem and progenitor cell types. We optimized stem cell isolation protocols and developed methods for the characterization for porcine muscle stem cells. Thereby, we increased our knowledge concerning the regulation of stem cell maintenance and their development potential. By optimization of the in vitro culture conditions for porcine muscle stem cells we provide a cell culture system in which we improved the maintenance of the stem cell characteristics. Furthermore, based on protein expression we showed that we could select for a highly myogenic stem cell population from porcine muscle tissue. Overall, this knowledge will facilitate the development of stem cell therapy for regenerative medicine, the use of stem cells in toxicology screening and for the generation of in vitro cultured meat.
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