Human dermal fibroblasts exhibit delayed adipogenic differentiation compared with mesenchymal stem cells

Kersti Jääger, Toomas Neuman
Stem Cells and Development 2011, 20 (8): 1327-36
Human dermal fibroblasts (FBs) express mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-specific cell surface markers and differentiate into several cell types under appropriate conditions. Molecular mechanisms controlling the early stages of differentiation of dermal FBs and MSCs isolated from different sources have not been well studied. Here, we have analyzed the cell type-specific changes of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AdMSCs) and dermal FBs in the process of differentiation into adipocytes and osteoblasts. Analysis of gene expression in the course of adipogenic differentiation of AdMSCs and FBs isolated from the same individuals revealed a time lag in the induction of adipogenesis-related genes in FBs compared with AdMSCs, a phenomenon not previously described. Further, preliminary evidence suggests that delayed adipogenesis of FBs is related to the delayed induction of preadipocyte transcription factor ZNF423 in FBs. These findings clearly show that AdMSCs and FBs have similar developmental potential but different molecular control mechanisms of initial stages of adipogenic differentiation.

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