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All-trans Retinoic Acid Promotes Nerve Cell Differentiation of Yolk Sac-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Gao, Yuhua, Bai, Chunyu, Wang, Kunfu, Sun, Bo, Guan, Weijun, Zheng, Dong
Applied biochemistry and biotechnology 2014 v.174 no.2 pp. 682-692
chickens, transcription factors, messenger RNA, yolk sac, neurons, humans, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, therapeutics, Western blotting, gene expression, mice, stem cells, retinoic acid, cell differentiation, immunocytochemistry
Fetal membranes are abundant; the yolk sac is a source of cell lineages that do not express MHCs and are mainly free from immunological incompatibles when transferred to a recipient. Although data are available especially for hematopoietic stem cells in human and murine; whereas other cell types and species are dramatically unnoticed. Here, we studied the nature and differentiation potential of yolk sac-derived mesenchymal stem cells from a chicken embryo. In this study, we observed the gene expression of pluripotent markers in yolk sac mesenchymal stem cells (YS-MSCs) and the capacity of YS-MSCs to differentiate into neural-like cells using quantitative RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry, and western blotting. YS-MSCs have a spindle shape and revealed the expression of the MSC-related proteins β-integrin, CD44, CD71, and CD73, but not CD34. YS-MSCs express pluripotent markers such as octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4) and Nanog at the protein and mRNA levels. QRT-PCR analyses revealed that YS-MSCs expressed nestin. Immunocytochemical and western blotting data showed that the cells expressed Nestin and microtubule-associated protein 2 (Map-2) for neurons, respectively, after induction of neural differentiation. These findings demonstrate the plasticity of YS-MSCs and their potential for use in cellular replacement therapy for neural diseases.