Absence of CD34 on murine skeletal muscle satellite cells marks a reversible state of activation during acute injury

Nicholas Ieronimakis, Gayathri Balasundaram, Sabrina Rainey, Kiran Srirangam, Zipora Yablonka-Reuveni, Morayma Reyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Background Skeletal muscle satellite cells are myogenic progenitors that reside on myofiber surface beneath the basal lamina. In recent years satellite cells have been identified and isolated based on their expression of CD34, a sialomucin surface receptor traditionally used as a marker of hematopoietic stem cells. Interestingly, a minority of satellite cells lacking CD34 has been described. Methodology/Principal Findings In order to elucidate the relationship between CD34+ and CD34- satellite cells we utilized fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) to isolate each population for molecular analysis, culture and transplantation studies. Here we show that unless used in combination with α7 integrin, CD34 alone is inadequate for purifying satellite cells. Furthermore, the absence of CD34 marks a reversible state of activation dependent on muscle injury. Conclusions/Significance Following acute injury CD34- cells become the major myogenic population whereas the percentage of CD34+ cells remains constant. In turn activated CD34- cells can reverse their activation to maintain the pool of CD34+ reserve cells. Such activation switching and maintenance of reserve pool suggests the satellite cell compartment is tightly regulated during muscle regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere10920
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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