Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology

First Advisor

Bradley Olwin

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Satellite cells are the stem cells of the muscle and contribute to muscle homeostasis and regeneration by creating large amounts of cells which can fuse to create new muscle or repair existing muscle fibers. Muscle disorders such as Duchenne Muscle Dystrophy and age-related muscle wasting often demonstrate impaired satellite cell function. Providing patients of such disorders with a healthy population of satellite cells via transplantation may represent a viable strategy for improving muscle function and reducing frailty. My project sought to improve the ability to track post transplanted satellite cell behavior through use of a new lineage tracing tool, the Tet-on; H2B-GFP mouse. Once activated, the satellite cells from the H2B-GFP mouse are labeled with nuclear GFP that can be easily traced, whether the cells are mononuclear or a myonucleus in a multinucleated myofiber following cell fusion. I transplanted satellite cells from H2B-GFP mice into wild-type mice and measured the contribution of these cells to regenerating myofibers and the satellite cell pool. Our results show that most transplanted cells differentiate and contribute to regenerating myofibers but that some transplanted cells have the capability to self-renew and retain their satellite cell identity. The work presented here establishes a powerful tool for the optimization of stem cell transplantations by providing detailed tracking and quantification of post-transplant satellite cell behavior.