Background: Dedifferentiation of muscle cells in the tissue of mammals has yet to be observed. One of the challenges facing the study of skeletal muscle cell dedifferentiation is the availability of a reliable model that can confidentially distinguish differentiated cell populations of myotubes and non-fused mononuclear cells, including stem cells that can coexist within the population of cells being studied. Methodology/Principal Findings: In the current study, we created a Cre/Lox-β-galactosidase system, which can specifically tag differentiated multinuclear myotubes and myotube-generated mononuclear cells based on the activation of the marker gene, β-galactosidase. By using this system in an adult mouse model, we found that β-galactosidase positive mononuclear cells were generated from β-galactosidase positive multinuclear myofibers upon muscle injury. We also demonstrated that these mononuclear cells can develop into a variety of different muscle cell lineages, i.e., myoblasts, satellite cells, and muscle derived stem cells. Conclusions/Significance: These novel findings demonstrated, for the first time, that cellular dedifferentiation of skeletal muscle cells actually occurs in mammalian skeletal muscle following traumatic injury in vivo. © 2011 Mu et al.
Mu, X., Peng, H., Pan, H., Huard, J., & Li, Y. (2011). Study of muscle cell dedifferentiation after skeletal muscle injury of mice with a Cre-Lox system. PLoS ONE, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0016699