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Stem Cells International
Volume 2015, Article ID 487467, 12 pages
Review Article

Satellite Cells: Regenerative Mechanisms and Applicability in Muscular Dystrophy

1Laboratory of Human Genetics and Cell Therapy, Biology Department, Biological Sciences Institute, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, 36036-900 Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil
2Department of Endodontology, Dentistry School, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, 36036-900 Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil

Received 24 October 2014; Revised 17 December 2014; Accepted 8 January 2015

Academic Editor: Diego Franco

Copyright © 2015 Gustavo Torres de Souza 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.


The satellite cells are long regarded as heterogeneous cell population, which is intimately linked to the processes of muscular recovery. The heterogeneous cell population may be classified by specific markers. In spite of the significant amount of variation amongst the satellite cell populations, it seems that their activity is tightly bound to the paired box 7 transcription factor expression, which is, therefore, used as a canonical marker for these cells. Muscular dystrophic diseases, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, elicit severe tissue injuries leading those patients to display a very specific pattern of muscular recovery abnormalities. There have been works on the application of precursors cells as a therapeutic alternative for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and initial attempts have proven the cells inefficient; however later endeavours have proposed solutions for the experiments improving significantly the results. The presence of a range of satellite cells populations indicates the existence of specific cells with enhanced capability of muscular recovery in afflicted muscles.