Marked heterogeneity in growth characteristics of myoblast clonal cultures and myoblast mixed cultures obtained from the same individual

Andrea B. Maier*, Ron Cohen, Joke Blom, Diana Van Heemst, Rudi G.J. Westendorp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Sarcopenia is defined as an age-related decrease in skeletal muscle mass and function while adjacent satellite cells are unable to compensate for this loss. However, myoblast cultures can be established even in the presence of sarcopenia. Objective: It is yet unknown whether satellite cells from failing muscle in older age are equally affected, as human satellite cells have been assessed using myoblast mixed cultures and not by using myoblast clonal cultures. We questioned to what extent myoblast mixed cultures reflect the in vivo characteristics of single satellite cells from adult skeletal muscle. Methods: We established a myoblast mixed culture and three myoblast clonal cultures out of the same muscle biopsy and cultured these cells for 100 days. Replicative capacity and oxidative stress resistance were compared. Results: We found marked heterogeneity between the myoblast clonal cultures that all had a significantly lower replicative capacity when compared to the mixed culture. Replicative capacity of the clonal cultures was inversely related to the β-galactosidase activity after exposure to oxidative stress. Addition of L-carnosine enhanced the remaining replicative capacity in all cultures with a concomitant marginal decrease in β-galactosidase activity. Conclusions: It is concluded that myoblast mixed cultures in vitro do not reflect the marked heterogeneity between single isolated satellite cells. The consequences of the heterogeneity on muscle performance remain to be established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-155
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012



  • Carnosine
  • Clone
  • Mass culture
  • Myoblasts
  • Oxidative stress
  • Proliferative capacity
  • Sarcopenia
  • Satellite cells

Cite this