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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 715251, 9 pages
Research Article

Preclinical Studies with Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Different Animal Models for Muscular Dystrophy

1Human Genome Research Center, Biosciences Institute, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
2Biotechnology Department, National Nuclear Energy Commission-IPEN-CNEN, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Received 29 March 2011; Revised 7 May 2011; Accepted 16 May 2011

Academic Editor: Ken-ichi Isobe

Copyright © 2011 Eder Zucconi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) have been widely investigated for cell-based therapy studies as an alternative source to bone marrow transplantation. Umbilical cord tissue is a rich source of MSCs with potential to derivate at least muscle, cartilage, fat, and bone cells in vitro. The possibility to replace the defective muscle cells using cell therapy is a promising approach for the treatment of progressive muscular dystrophies (PMDs), independently of the specific gene mutation. Therefore, preclinical studies in different models of muscular dystrophies are of utmost importance. The main objective of the present study is to evaluate if umbilical cord MSCs have the potential to reach and differentiate into muscle cells in vivo in two animal models of PMDs. In order to address this question we injected (1) human umbilical cord tissue (hUCT) MSCs into the caudal vein of SJL mice; (2) hUCT and canine umbilical cord vein (cUCV) MSCs intra-arterially in GRMD dogs. Our results here reported support the safety of the procedure and indicate that the injected cells could engraft in the host muscle in both animal models but could not differentiate into muscle cells. These observations may provide important information aiming future therapy for muscular dystrophies.