Alpha-lipoic acid enhances DMSO-induced cardiomyogenic differentiation of P19 cells

Xinghua Shen, Qinghui Yang, Peng Jin, Xueqi Li
Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica 2014, 46 (9): 766-73
Alpha-lipoic acid (α-LA) is a potent antioxidant that acts as an essential cofactor in mitochondrial dehydrogenase reactions. α-LA has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective properties, and is used to improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. However, the role of α-LA in stem cell differentiation and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. In the present study, we showed that α-LA significantly promoted dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)-induced cardiomyogenic differentiation of mouse embryonic carcinoma P19 cells. α-LA dose dependently increased beating embryonic body (EB) percentages of DMSO-differentiated P19 cells. The expressions of cardiac specific genes TNNT2, Nkx2.5, GATA4, MEF2C, and MLC2V and cardiac isoform of troponin T (cTnT)-positively stained cell population were significantly up-regulated by the addition of α-LA. We also demonstrated that the differentiation time after EB formation was critical for α-LA to take effect. Interestingly, without DMSO treatment, α-LA did not stimulate the cardiomyogenic differentiation of P19 cells. Further investigation indicated that collagen synthesis-enhancing activity, instead of the antioxidative property, plays a significant role in the cardiomyogenic differentiation-promoting function of α-LA. These findings highlight the potential use of α-LA for regenerative therapies in heart diseases.

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