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Induction of Human Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells into Germ Lineage Using Retinoic Acid

Liu, Haihui, Chen, Mingtai, Liu, Lulu, Ren, Saisai, Cheng, Panpan, Zhang, Hao
Cellular reprogramming 2018 v.20 no.2 pp. 127-134
bone marrow, cell differentiation, fluorescent antibody technique, gene expression regulation, germ cells, humans, medicine, mesenchymal stromal cells, polymerase chain reaction, retinoic acid, stem cells, tissue engineering, umbilical cord
Accumulating evidence indicates that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been widely used in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine due to their multilineage differentiation potentials. Recent studies show that germ-like cells can also be derived from stem cells, such as human umbilical cord MSCs and human bone marrow MSCs in vitro. However, whether human adipose-derived MSCs (hAD-MSCs) can be induced into germ-like cells has never been reported. In this study, we isolated hAD-MSCs and confirmed that their characteristics were in accordance with that of MSCs established before. Germ cell lineage differentiation was performed by 10 μM retinoic acid (RA) treatment for 21 days. RA induction led to slender spindles and tadpole-like changes of cell morphology, and the expression of germ cell-specific markers (Oct4, Piwil2, Itgb1, SSEA-1, and Stra8) presented significant upregulation in the RA treatment group according to the polymerase chain reaction and immunofluorescence results. We first demonstrated that hAD-MSCs can differentiate into germ-like cells in vitro, which will provide theoretical and experimental basis for the clinical application of hAD-MSCs in the treatment for infertility.