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Stem Cells International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 469459, 11 pages
Research Article

Satellite Cells CD44 Positive Drive Muscle Regeneration in Osteoarthritis Patients

1Anatomic Pathology Section, Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
2“Multidisciplinary Study of the Effects of Microgravity on Bone Cells” Project, Italian Space Agency (ASI), Spatial Biomedicine Center, Via del Politecnico snc, 00133 Rome, Italy
3Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, “Tor Vergata” University of Rome, “Policlinico Tor Vergata” Foundation, Viale Oxford 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
4School of Specialization in Orthopaedics and Traumatology, “Tor Vergata” University of Rome, “Policlinico Tor Vergata” Foundation, Viale Oxford 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
5Department of Systems Medicine, University of Roma Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy

Received 3 March 2015; Revised 23 April 2015; Accepted 17 May 2015

Academic Editor: Tong-Chuan He

Copyright © 2015 Manuel Scimeca 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.


Age-related bone diseases, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, are strongly associated with sarcopenia and muscle fiber atrophy. In this study, we analyzed muscle biopsies in order to demonstrate that, in osteoarthritis patients, both osteophytes formation and regenerative properties of muscle stem cells are related to the same factors. In particular, thanks to immunohistochemistry, transmission electron microscopy, and immunogold labeling we investigated the role of BMP-2 in muscle stem cells activity. In patients with osteoarthritis both immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy allowed us to note a higher number of CD44 positive satellite muscle cells forming syncytium. Moreover, the perinuclear and cytoplasmic expression of BMP-2 assessed by in situ molecular characterization of satellite cells syncytia suggest a very strict correlation between BMP-2 expression and muscle regeneration capability. Summing up, the higher BMP-2 expression in osteoarthritic patients could explain the increased bone mineral density as well as decreased muscle atrophy in osteoarthrosic patients. In conclusion, our results suggest that the control of physiological BMP-2 balance between bone and muscle tissues may be considered as a potential pharmacological target in bone-muscle related pathology.