Effects of transforming growth factor-beta 1 and ascorbic acid on differentiation of human bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells into smooth muscle cell lineage

Yuji Narita, Aika Yamawaki, Hideaki Kagami, Minoru Ueda, Yuichi Ueda
Cell and Tissue Research 2008, 333 (3): 449-59
Bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate into a variety of cell types including smooth muscle cells (SMCs). We have attempted to demonstrate that, following treatment with transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta1) and ascorbic acid (AA), human bone-marrow-derived MSCs differentiate into the SMC lineage for use in tissue engineering. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction for SMC-specific gene (alpha smooth muscle actin, h1-calponin, and SM22alpha) expression was performed on MSCs, which were cultured with various concentrations of TGF-beta1 or AA. TGF-beta1 had a tendency to up-regulate the expression of SMC-specific genes in a dose-dependent manner. The expression of SM22alpha was significantly up-regulated by 30 microM AA. We also investigated the additive effect of TGF-beta1 and AA for differentiation into SMCs and compared this effect with that of other factors including platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB). In addition to SMC-specific gene expression, SMC-specific proteins increased by two to four times when TGF-beta1 and AA were used together compared with their administration alone. PDGF did not increase the expression of SMC-specific markers. MSCs cultured with TGF-beta1 and AA did not differentiate into osteoblasts and adipocytes. These results suggest that a combination of TGF-beta1 and AA is useful for the differentiation of MSCs into SMCs for use in tissue engineering.

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