Migration of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells induced by tumor necrosis factor-alpha and its possible role in wound healing

Xiaobing Fu, Bing Han, Sa Cai, Yonghong Lei, Tongzhu Sun, Zhiyong Sheng
Wound Repair and Regeneration 2009, 17 (2): 185-91
We aimed to investigate the effect of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) on the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in the migration ability of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the context of wound healing. We also explored the role of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathways in the migration of MSCs. MSCs were isolated from the bone marrow and cultured. Immunocytochemistry, Western blotting, and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction were used to observe the effect of TNF-alpha on the expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 in MSCs. The chemotaxis effect of TNF-alpha on MSCs was investigated by the trans-well system and the inhibition effect of TNF-alpha using its antibody. Western blotting analysis was used to observe the activation of JAK-STAT and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways, and ERK was inhibited with PD98059 and p38 with SB203580 to observe the effect of TNF-alpha on MSC migration and ICAM-1 expression. The expression of ICAM-1 could be up-regulated by 50 microg/L TNF-alpha (p<0.05), whereas that of VCAM-1 remained unchanged (p>0.05). Also, TNF-alpha showed a chemotaxis effect by enhancing the migration ability of MSCs (p<0.05). TNF-alpha at 50 microg/L increased the expression of phospho-ERK and phospho-p38, and SB203580, but not PD98059, could suppress the chemotaxis effect and up-regulation of ICAM-1 induced by TNF-alpha in MSCs (p<0.05). Thus, TNF-alpha could up-regulate the expression of ICAM-1 in MSCs and enhance the cells' migration ability, and the p38 signaling pathway might be involved in the TNF-alpha-induced migration ability for a role in wound repair and regeneration.

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