Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) proliferate in vitro for long periods without losing pluripotency and can be induced to differentiate into various cell types including skeletal muscle cells (SMCs). Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are generated from a preimplantation-stage embryo. Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are derived from somatic cells of both healthy donors and patients with muscle diseases of any age using reprogramming factors. Currently, there are two kinds of protocols to induce skeletal muscle from hPSCs. One type utilizes overexpression of a potent myogenic master regulator, MyoD, to directly induce skeletal muscle. Stepwise induction of skeletal muscle has also been reported by many research groups, but hiPSC-based cell therapy for muscular dystrophy is still experimental. On the other hand, hiPSCs derived from patients with muscle disease are widely used for disease modeling in vitro. Here, we review the recent literature on derivation of skeletal muscle from human pluripotent stem cells and discuss their application.
Part of the book: Muscle Cell and Tissue