Myogenic precursor cells in craniofacial muscles

L. K. McLoon, K. M. Thorstenson, A. Solomon, M. P. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Craniofacial skeletal muscles (CskM), including the masticatory (MM), extraocular (EOM) and laryngeal muscles (LM), have a number of properties that set them apart from the majority of skeletal muscles (SkM). They have embryological origins that are distinct from musculature elsewhere in the body, they express a number of immature myosin heavy chain isoforms and maintain increased and distinct expression of a number of myogenic growth factors and their receptors from other adult SkMs. Furthermore, it has recently been demonstrated that unlike limb SkM, normal adult EOM and LM retain a population of activated satellite cells, the regenerative cell in adult SkM. In order to maintain this proliferative pool throughout life, CSkM may contain more satellite cells and/or more multipotent precursor cells that may be more resistant to apoptosis than those found in limb muscle. A further exciting question is whether this potentially more active muscle precursor cell population could be utilized not only for SkM repair, but be harnessed for repair or reconstruction of other tissues, such as nervous tissue or bone. This is a highly attractive speculation as the innate regenerative capacity of craniofacial muscles would ensure the donor tissue would not have compromised future function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Extraocular muscle
  • Laryngeal muscles
  • Masticatory muscles
  • Satellite cells
  • Skeletal muscle


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