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A mesoangioblast is a mesenchymal-like cell, associated with the walls of the large vessels. Mesoangioblasts exhibit many similarities to pericytes[1] found in the small vessels. Mesoangioblasts are relatively undifferentiated cells with the potential to progress down the endothelial or mesodermal lineages. Mesoangioblasts express the endothelial marker Flk-1, but not haematopoietic markers such as Tal-1.[2]

Recent work has suggested their application for stem cell therapies for muscular dystrophy. Experiments in alpha-sarcoglycan deficient dystrophic mice have shown that mesoangioblast transplantation can restore muscle function. Cells are delivered intra-arterially, where they migrate to the muscles.[3][4]

More recently, a paper was published in Nature where mesoangioblast transplantion was used to ameliorate the effects of muscular dystrophy in golden retrievers with a congenital muscular dystrophy. The dogs given allogeneic cells survived; control animals died within 1 year.[5]

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  1. ^ Birbrair, Alexander; Zhang, Tan; Wang, Zhong-Min; Messi, Maria Laura; Enikolopov, Grigori N.; Mintz, Akiva; Delbono, Osvaldo (2013). "Role of Pericytes in Skeletal Muscle Regeneration and Fat Accumulation". Stem Cells and Development 22 (16): 2298–314. doi:10.1089/scd.2012.0647. PMC 3730538. PMID 23517218. 
  2. ^ Cossu G, Bianco P. Mesoangioblasts--vascular progenitors for extravascular mesodermal tissues. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2003;13(5):537-42. Review.
  3. ^ Guttinger M, Tafi E, Battaglia M, Coletta M, Cossu G. Allogeneic mesoangioblasts give rise to alpha-sarcoglycan expressing fibers when transplanted into dystrophic mice. Exp Cell Res. 2006 August 18 Epub
  4. ^ Sampaolesi M, Torrente Y, Innocenzi A, Tonlorenzi R, D'Antona G, Pellegrino MA, Barresi R, Bresolin N, De Angelis MG, Campbell KP, Bottinelli R, Cossu G. Cell therapy of alpha-sarcoglycan null dystrophic mice through intra-arterial delivery of mesoangioblasts. Science. 2003 July 25;301(5632):487-92.
  5. ^ Sampaolesi M, Blot S, D'Antona G, Granger N, Tonlorenzi R, Innocenzi A, Mognol P, Thibaud JL, Galvez BG, Barthelemy I, Perani L, Mantero S, Guttinger M, Pansarasa O, Rinaldi C, Cusella De Angelis MG, Torrente Y, Bordignon C, Bottinelli R, Cossu G. Mesoangioblast stem cells ameliorate muscle function in dystrophic dogs. Nature. 2006, Nov 15 Epub