Bone Marrow Cells May Provide Muscle Power

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Science  06 Mar 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5356, pp. 1456
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5356.1456

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On page 1528, a group of molecular biologists show that bone marrow cells can move into damaged muscle and grow into new muscle fibers in mice. Not only does this overturn current dogma that muscles must depend on local cells to repair injury and are not aided by cells migrating through the blood from the bone marrow or elsewhere, but it also has clinical implications for potential therapies for muscular dystrophies. For example, researchers might one day be able to introduce a good copy of the defective gene that causes muscular dystrophy into the patient's own bone marrow cells so that they provide decaying muscles with a plentiful source of new--and normal--muscle cells.