Myogenic differentiation potential of human tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells and their potential for use to promote skeletal muscle regeneration

Saeyoung Park, Yoonyoung Choi, Namhee Jung, Yeonsil Yu, Kyung Ha Ryu, Han Su Kim, Inho Jo, Byung Ok Choi, Sung Chul Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Stem cells are regarded as an important source of cells which may be used to promote the regeneration of skeletal muscle (SKM) which has been damaged due to defects in the organization of muscle tissue caused by congenital diseases, trauma or tumor removal. In particular, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which require less invasive harvesting techniques, represent a valuable source of cells for stem cell therapy. In the present study, we demonstrated that human tonsil-derived MSCs (T-MSCs) may differentiate into myogenic cells in vitro and that the transplantation of myoblasts and myocytes generated from human T-MSCs mediates the recovery of muscle function in vivo. In order to induce myogenic differentiation, the T-MSC-derived spheres were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium/nutrient mixture F-12 (DMEM/F-12) supplemented with 1 ng/ml transforming growth factor-ß, non-essential amino acids and insulin-transferrin-selenium for 4 days followed by culture in myogenic induction medium [low-glucose DMEM containing 2% fetal bovine serum (FBS) and 10 ng/ml insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1)] for 14 days. The T-MSCs sequentially differentiated into myoblasts and skeletal myocytes, as evidenced by the increased expression of skeletal myogenesis-related markers [including a-actinin, troponin I type 1 (TNNI1) and myogenin] and the formation of myotubes in vitro. The in situ transplantation of T-MSCs into mice with a partial myectomy of the right gastrocnemius muscle enhanced muscle function, as demonstrated by gait assessment (footprint analysis), and restored the shape of SKM without forming teratomas. Thus, T-MSCs may differentiate into myogenic cells and effectively regenerate SKM following injury. These results demonstrate the therapeutic potential of T-MSCs to promote SKM regeneration following injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1220
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grant no. HI12C0135 from the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea and RP-Grant 2014 from Ewha Womans University.


  • Differentiation
  • Human tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells
  • Regeneration
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Stem cell therapy


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