Derivation of functional skeletal muscle stem cells from pluripotent cells without genetic modification has proven elusive. Here we show that teratomas formed in adult skeletal muscle differentiate in vivo to produce large numbers of α7-Integrin+ VCAM-1+ myogenic progenitors. When FACS-purified and transplanted into diseased muscles, mouse teratoma-derived myogenic progenitors demonstrate very high engraftment potential. As few as 40,000 cells can reconstitute ∼80% of the tibialis anterior muscle volume. Newly generated fibers are innervated, express adult myosins, and ameliorate dystrophy-related force deficit and fatigability. Teratoma-derived myogenic progenitors also contribute quiescent PAX7+ muscle stem cells, enabling long-term maintenance of regenerated muscle and allowing muscle regeneration in response to subsequent injuries. Transcriptional profiling reveals that teratoma-derived myogenic progenitors undergo embryonic-to-adult maturation when they contribute to the stem cell compartment of regenerated muscle. Thus, teratomas are a rich and accessible source of potent transplantable skeletal muscle stem cells. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Bone marrow fibrosis (BMF) develops in various hematological and non-hematological conditions and is a central pathological feature of myelofibrosis. Effective cell-targeted therapeutics are needed, but the cellular origin of BMF remains elusive. Here, we show using genetic fate tracing in two murine models of BMF that Gli1+ mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are recruited from the endosteal and perivascular niche to become fibrosis-driving myofibroblasts in the bone marrow. Genetic ablation of Gli1+ cells abolished BMF and rescued bone marrow failure. Pharmacological targeting of Gli proteins with GANT61 inhibited Gli1+ cell expansion and myofibroblast differentiation and attenuated fibrosis severity. The same pathway is also active in human BMF, and Gli1 expression in BMF significantly correlates with the severity of the disease. In addition, GANT61 treatment reduced the myofibroblastic phenotype of human MSCs isolated from patients with BMF, suggesting that targeting of Gli proteins could be a relevant therapeutic strategy.