A DUAL-MARKER SYSTEM FOR QUANTITATIVE STUDIES OF MYOBLAST TRANSPLANTATION IN THE MOUSE1


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Abstract

Background.Myoblast transplantation (MT) is a potential approach for gene transfer into skeletal muscle, the efficiency of which depends upon the number of copies of donor genome incorporated into the host tissue. We have developed a system for quantitative studies of MT that measures amounts of donor-derived genome in host muscles and estimates the contributions of donor cell survival and proliferation in vivo.Methods.[14C]thymidine-labeled, male myoblasts were transplanted into female muscles, providing two donor cell markers, Y chromosome and [14C]. The markers were measured in muscle extracts by slot blotting and scintillation counting, respectively.Results.In each extract, the amount of Y chromosome was used to quantify donor-derived genome, whereas the radiolabel provided an estimate of cell survival. Furthermore, the different modes of inheritance of the markers meant that proliferation of surviving donor cells was detected as a change in marker ratio.Conclusions.This system provides a method for assessing potential improvements of MT.

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