Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.480, No.4, 727-733, 2016
Ectoderm mesenchymal stem cells promote differentiation and maturation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells
Many neurological diseases are closely associated with demyelination caused by pathological changes of oligodendrocytes. Although intrinsic remyelination occurs after injury, the regeneration efficiency of myelinating oligodendrocytes remains to be improved. Herein, we reported an initiative finding of employing a valuable cell source, namely neural crest-derived ectoderm mesenchymal stem cells (EMSCs), for promoting oligodendrocyte differentiation and maturation by co-culturing oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) with the EMSCs. The results demonstrated that the OPCs/EMSCs co-culture could remarkably increase the number and length of oligodendrocyte processes in comparison with the mono cultured OPCs and non-contact OPCs/EMSCs transwell culture. Furthermore, the inhibition experiments revealed that the EMSCs-produced soluble factor Sonic hedgehog, gap junction protein connexin 43 and extracellular matrix molecule laminin accounted for the promoted OPC differentiation since inhibiting the function of anyone of the three proteins led to substantial retraction of processes and detachment of oligodendrocytes. Altogether, OPCs/EMSCs co-culture system could be a paradigmatic approach for promoting differentiation and maturation of oligodendrocytes, and EMSCs will be a promising cell source for the treatment of neurological diseases caused by oligodendrocyte death and demyelination. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.