Over the last years, the existence of different stem cells with myogenic potential has been widely investigated. Besides the classical skeletal muscle progenitors represented by satellite cells, numerous multipotent and embryologically unrelated progenitors with a potential role in muscle differentiation and repair have been identified. In order to conceive a therapeutic approach for degenerative muscle disorders, it is of primary importance to identify an ideal stem cell endowed with all the features for a possible use in vivo. Among all emerging populations, vessel-associated stem cells are a novel and promising class of multipotent progenitors of mesodermal origin and with high myogenic potential which seem to best fit all the requirements for a possible cell therapy. In vitro and in vivostudies have already tested the effectiveness and safety of vessel-associated stem cells in animal models. This leads to the concrete possibility in the future to start pilot human clinical trials, hopefully opening the way to a turning point in the treatment of genetic and acquired muscle disorders.
- stem cells