Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.439, No.2, 297-302, 2013
Wnt/beta-catenin signaling regulates neuronal differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been demonstrated to be able to differentiate into neuron-like cells, but the precise mechanisms controlling this process are unclear. Using neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and nestin as neuronal markers, we examined the role of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in MSC neuronal differentiation in present study. The results indicated that the expression of beta-catenin increased markedly during the neuronal differentiation of MSCs. Blocking Wnt signaling by treating MSCs with beta-catenin siRNA could decrease the differentiation of MSCs into neuron-like cells and up-regulation of Wnt signaling by treating MSCs with Wnt-3a could promote neuronal differentiation of MSCs. Above results suggest that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling may play a pivotal role in neuronal differentiation of MSCs. Our data broaden the knowledge of molecular mechanisms involved in the neuronal differentiation of MSCs and provide a potential target for directing differentiation of MSCs for clinical application. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.