Research Article: Comparative study of the neural differentiation capacity of mesenchymal stromal cells from different tissue sources: An approach for their use in neural regeneration therapies

Date Published: March 11, 2019

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Daniela N. Urrutia, Pablo Caviedes, Rodrigo Mardones, José J. Minguell, Ana Maria Vega-Letter, Claudio M. Jofre, Gianpaolo Papaccio.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can trans/differentiate to neural precursors and/or mature neurons and promote neuroprotection and neurogenesis. The above could greatly benefit neurodegenerative disorders as well as in the treatment of post-traumatic and hereditary diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). In order to attain an ideal source of adult MSCs for the treatment of CNS diseases, adipose tissue, bone marrow, skin and umbilical cord derived MSCs were isolated and studied to explore differences with regard to neural differentiation capacity. In this study, we demonstrated that MSCs from several tissues can differentiate into neuron-like cells and differentially express progenitors and mature neural markers. Adipose tissue MSCs exhibited significantly higher expression of neural markers and had a faster proliferation rate. Our results suggest that adipose tissue MSCs are the best candidates for the use in neurological diseases.

Partial Text

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a class of adult stem cells, which undergo self-renewal and exhibit pluripotency [1]. In addition, MSCs have immunomodulatory properties, produce trophic factors for tissue repair/regeneration [2, 3], and differentiate into various cell lineages, including neurons and glial cells [4, 5].

The objective of this study was to provide a comparison of the capability of MSCs isolated from several human tissues, to differentiate under in vitro conditions to neuron-like cells, evidenced by morphological changes and by the expression of neural markers.

In the present report, neural regenerative therapy using MSCs obtained from different tisssue sources appears as a feasible and a promissing clinical option for the treatment of neurological affections. From the cell types tested, AT-MSC figure as the most appealing cell source, due to it ease of access and faster proliferation rates. Despite our results represent a novelty comparison between attractive sources of MSCs, there is a need for demostrate a genuine and complete neuronal differentiation, based on those criteria that define a neuronal cell [77] which is only probable by functional assays of synaptic transmission, membrane potential and functional action potential [78]. Also, it is evident that future studies are needed to further optimize and maximize the quality, efficacy and safety clinical use of MSCs [79].




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