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Authors Tsai TL, Wang B, Squire MW, Guo LW, Li WJ
Author Profile(s)
Journal Stem Cell Res Ther Volume: 6 Pages: 88
Publish Date 2015 May 01
PubMed ID 25998005
PMC ID 4416238

Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) reside in a perivascular niche of the body, suggesting that they interact closely with vascular endothelial cells (ECs) through cell-cell interaction or paracrine signaling to maintain cell functions. Endothelin-1 (ET1) is a paracrine factor mainly secreted by ECs. We thus hypothesize that ECs can regulate cellular activities of hMSCs and direct their stem cell fate.We investigated whether co-cultured human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) were able to regulate expression of potency- and lineage-related markers in bone marrow-derived hMSCs. We further explored the regulatory effects of ET1 on cell proliferation, expression of surface antigens and pluripotency-related markers, and multilineage differentiation in hMSCs. Activation of the AKT signaling pathway in hMSCs was also analyzed to identify its mechanistic role in the ET1-induced regulation.Co-cultured HAECs enhanced expression of mesenchymal lineage-related markers in hMSCs. Treatment of ET receptor antagonist downregulated the increased expression of CBFA1 in hMSCs cultured with HAEC-conditioned medium. hMSCs treated with ET1 showed cell proliferation and expression of surface antigens, CD73, CD90, and CD105, comparable with those without ET1 treatment. ET1-treated hMSCs also expressed upregulated mRNA transcript levels of OCT3/4, NANOG, CBFA1 and SOX9. When induced for lineage-specific differentiation, hMSCs pre-treated with ET1 showed enhanced osteogenesis and chondrogenesis. However, adipogenic differentiation of hMSCs was not affected by ET1 pretreatment. We further showed that the ET1-induced regulation was mediated by activation of AKT signaling.Our results demonstrate that ET1 secreted by HAECs can direct bone marrow-derived hMSCs for osteo- and chondro-lineage differentiation through activation of the AKT signaling pathway, suggesting that ET1 plays a crucial role in regulation of hMSC activity. Our findings may help understand how hMSCs interact with ECs in a perivascular niche.

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