Amarjit Saini, Sarabjit Mastana, Fiona Myers and Mark Peter Lewis Pages 256 - 267 ( 12 )
Skeletal muscle is a post-mitotic tissue maintained by repair and regeneration through a population of stem cell-like satellite cells. Following muscle injury, satellite cell proliferation is mediated by local signals ensuring sufficient progeny for tissue repair. Age–related changes in satellite cells as well as to the local and systemic environment potentially impact on the capacity of satellite cells to generate sufficient progeny in an ageing organism resulting in diminished regeneration. ‘Rejuvenation’ of satellite cell progeny and regenerative capacity by environmental stimuli effectors suggest that a subset of age-dependent satellite cell changes may be reversible. Epigenetic regulation of satellite stem cells that include DNA methylation and histone modifications which regulate gene expression are potential mechanisms for such reversible changes and have been shown to control organismal longevity. The area of health and ageing that is likely to benefit soonest from advances in the biology of adult stem cells is the emerging field of regenerative medicine. Further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms by which epigenetic modifications regulate satellite stem cell function and will require an increased understanding of stem-cell biology, the environment of the aged tissue and the interaction between the two.
Epigenetics, Ageing, Satellite cells, Skeletal muscle, Methylation, Acetylation.
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Epinal Way, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, United Kingdom.