Cell-mediated gene therapy is a possible means to treat muscular dystrophies like Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Autologous patient stem cells can be genetically-corrected and transplanted back into the patient, without causing immunorejection problems. Regenerated muscle fibres derived from these cells will express the missing dystrophin protein, thus improving muscle function. CD133+ cells derived from normal human skeletal muscle contribute to regenerated muscle fibres and form muscle stem cells after their intra-muscular transplantation into an immunodeficient mouse model. But it is not known whether CD133+ cells derived from DMD patient muscles have compromised muscle regenerative function. To test this, we compared CD133+ cells derived from DMD and normal human muscles. DMD CD133+ cells had a reduced capacity to undergo myogenic differentiation in vitro compared with CD133+ cells derived from normal muscle. In contrast to CD133+ cells derived from normal human muscle, those derived from DMD muscle formed no satellite cells and gave rise to significantly fewer muscle fibres of donor origin, after their intra-muscular transplantation into an immunodeficient, non-dystrophic, mouse muscle. DMD CD133+ cells gave rise to more clones of smaller size and more clones that were less myogenic than did CD133+ cells derived from normal muscle. The heterogeneity of the progeny of CD133+ cells, combined with the reduced proliferation and myogenicity of DMD compared to normal CD133+ cells, may explain the reduced regenerative capacity of DMD CD133+ cells.