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Induction of Neuronal Differentiation of Rat Muscle-Derived Stem Cells in Vitro Using Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor and Ethosuximide
Department of Molecular Science and Technology, Ajou University, Suwon 443-759, Korea
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 January 2013; in revised form: 5 March 2013 / Accepted: 7 March 2013 / Published: 25 March 2013
Abstract: Several studies have demonstrated that basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) can induce neural differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. In this study, we investigated the neural differentiation of muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs) following treatment with bFGF and ethosuximide, a small molecule used as an anticonvulsant in humans. Stem cells isolated from rat skeletal muscle (rMDSCs) were pre-induced by culturing with 25 ng/mL bFGF for 24 h and then were transferred to a medium supplemented with or without 4 mM ethosuximide. Neuronal differentiation was assessed by immunocytochemical and western blotting analyses of marker expression. Immunocytochemistry of rMDSCs treated with bFGF and ethosuximide identified abundant cells expressing neuronal markers (TuJ1, neuron-specific class III β-tubulin; NeuN, neuronal nuclear antigen; and NF-MH; neurofilament M and H). Olig2 (oligodendrocyte transcription factor 2)-positive cells were also observed, indicating the presence of oligodendrocyte lineage cells. These findings were substantiated by western blotting analysis of marker proteins. In particular, the expression of NeuN and TuJ1 was significantly higher in rMDSCs treated with ethosuximide and bFGF than in cells stimulated with bFGF alone (NeuN, p < 0.05 and TuJ1, p < 0.001). Expression of the astrocyte marker GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein) was not detected in this study. Collectively, the results showed that treatment with bFGF and ethosuximide induced effective transdifferentiation of rMDSCs into cells with a neural-like phenotype. Notably, rMDSCs treated with a combination of bFGF plus ethosuximide showed enhanced differentiation compared with cells treated with bFGF alone, implying that ethosuximide may stimulate neuronal differentiation.
Keywords: adult stem cells; muscle derived stem cells; bFGF; ethosuximide; neurogenesis; neurons
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Kang, M.L.; Kwon, J.S.; Kim, M.S. Induction of Neuronal Differentiation of Rat Muscle-Derived Stem Cells in Vitro Using Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor and Ethosuximide. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 6614-6623.
Kang ML, Kwon JS, Kim MS. Induction of Neuronal Differentiation of Rat Muscle-Derived Stem Cells in Vitro Using Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor and Ethosuximide. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(4):6614-6623.
Kang, Mi L.; Kwon, Jin S.; Kim, Moon S. 2013. "Induction of Neuronal Differentiation of Rat Muscle-Derived Stem Cells in Vitro Using Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor and Ethosuximide." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 4: 6614-6623.