Featured characteristics and pivotal roles of satellite cells in skeletal muscle regeneration

  • Taejeong SongEmail author
  • Sakthivel Sadayappan


Skeletal muscle, the essential organ for locomotion, as well as energy reservoir and expenditure, has robust regenerative capacity in response to mechanical stress and injury. As muscle-specific stem cells, satellite cells are responsible for providing new myoblasts during the process of muscle growth and regeneration. Self-renewal capacity and the fate of satellite cells are highly regulated and influenced by their surrounding factors, such as extracellular matrix and soluble proteins. The strong myogenic potential of satellite cells makes them a potential resource for stem cell therapy to cure genetic muscle disease and repair injured muscle. Here, we both review key features of satellite cells during skeletal muscle development and regeneration and summarize recent outcomes of satellite cell transplantation studies.


Skeletal muscle Extracellular matrix Muscle regeneration Muscle injury 



Also known as protein kinase B (PKB)


Also known as cyclin D1


Basic helix-loop-helix


C–C chemokine receptor type2




Cross sectional area


C-X3-C motif chemokine receptor 1


C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 16


Extracellular matrix


Extensor digitorum longus


Extracellular signal-regulated kinases


Fluorescence-activated cell sorting


Forkhead box Os


Glucose-6-phosphate isomerase


Human myogenic progenitor cells




Insulin like growth factor-1


Inflammatory monocyte/macrophage


Anti-inflammatory monocyte/macrophage


Mitogen-activated protein kinases


X chromosome-linked muscular dystrophy


Mechano growth factor




Muscle progenitor cells


Myogenic regulatory factor 4


Mammalian target of rapamycin


Myogenic factor 5


Neural cell adhesion molecule


Nonmuscle myosin 2


Protease-activated receptors 1


Paired box genes


Phosphorylase kinase


Phosphoinositide 3-kinases


SOX gene family


Tibialis anterior


Transforming growth factor-beta


Tumor necrosis factor alpha



Dr. Sadayappan has received support from National Institutes of Health Grants R01 HL130356, R56 HL139680, R01 AR067279, and R01 HL105826; the American Heart Association 2019 Institutional Undergraduate Student (19UFEL34380251) awards; and AstraZeneca, Merck and Amgen. Dr. Song is a recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship (19POST34380448) from the American Heart Association. Eric P. Smith, MD, Academic Research Services, Department of Internal Medicine, Cincinnati College of Medicine assisted in editing the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Sadayappan has provided consulting and collaborative services to AstraZeneca, Merck and Amgen unrelated to the content of this manuscript. No other disclosures are reported.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiovascular Health and Disease, Department of Internal Medicine, Heart, Lung and Vascular InstituteUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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