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Jiqing C.,Sun Yat Sen University | Jiqing C.,Guangdong Key Laboratory for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Major Neurological Disease | Yaqin L.,Sun Yat Sen University | Yaqin L.,Guangdong Key Laboratory for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Major Neurological Disease | And 11 more authors.
Cytotherapy | Year: 2015

Background aims: Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs) are a promising therapeutic option for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Myogenic differentiation occurs in the skeletal muscle of the mdx mouse (a mouse model of DMD) after BMSC transplantation. The transcription factor bone morphogenic protein 4 (BMP4) plays a crucial role in growth regulation, differentiation and survival of many cell types, including BMSCs. We treated BMSCs with BMP4 or the BMP antagonist noggin to examine the effects of BMP signaling on the myogenic potential of BMSCs in mdx mice. Methods: We added BMP4 or noggin to cultured BMSCs under myogenic differentiation conditions. We then injected BMP4-or noggin-treated BMSCs into the muscles of mdx mice to determine their myogenic potential. Results: We found that the expression levels of desmin and myosin heavy chain decreased after treating BMSCs with BMP4, whereas the expression levels of phosphorylated Smad, a downstream target of BMP4, were higher in these BMSCs than in the controls. Mdx mouse muscles injected with BMSCs pretreated with BMP4 showed decreased dystrophin expression and increased phosphorylated Smad levels compared with muscles injected with non-treated BMSCs. The opposite effects were seen after pretreatment with noggin, as expected. Conclusions: Our results identified BMP/Smad signaling as an essential negative regulator of promyogenic BMSC activity; inhibition of this pathway improved the efficiency of BMSC myogenic differentiation, which suggests that this pathway might serve as a target to regulate BMSC function for better myogenic differentiation during treatment of DMD and degenerative skeletal muscle diseases. © 2015 International Society for Cellular Therapy. Source

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