Satellite but essential: muscle stem cells

When immobilized in a cast muscles undergo atrophy and lose their mass and strength. Satellite cells are known players in muscle recovery, but their role in atrophy has not been completely unraveled. Modeling atrophy and recovery in mice we aim to uncover how muscles heal following immobilization.

Body area Skeletal Muscle


Atrophy occurs as a consequence of immobilization after a fall, however in the elderly recovery is severely impaired due to age-related muscle wasting and decline in functional satellite cells. Understanding the mechanisms of atrophy can lead to the development of treatments to prevent or delay muscle loss, improving quality of life.

reNEW research

This research is in a preliminary phase.

Image description

Satellite cells (yellow) on the periphery of multinucleated muscle fibers promote muscle repair if fibers are damaged. Laminin (magenta) delineates the fiber, while DAPI (white) marks the cell nuclei.


Paola Pisterzi, Niels Geijsen’s lab, LUMC