Effects of passage number and differentiation protocol on the generation of dopaminergic neurons from rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells

Gabrielle Shall, Megan Menosky, Sarah Decker, Priya Nethala, Ryan Welchko, Xavier Leveque, Ming Lu, Michael Sandstrom, Ute Hochgeschwender, Julien Rossignol, Gary Dunbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Multiple studies have demonstrated the ability of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to differentiate into dopamine-producing cells, in vitro and in vivo, indicating their potential to be used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, there are discrepancies among studies regarding the optimal time (i.e., passage number) and method for dopaminergic induction, in vitro. In the current study, we compared the ability of early (P4) and later (P40) passaged bone marrow-derived MSCs to differentiate into dopaminergic neurons using two growth-factor-based approaches. A direct dopaminergic induction (DDI) was used to directly convert MSCs into dopaminergic neurons, and an indirect dopaminergic induction (IDI) was used to direct MSCs toward a neuronal lineage prior to terminal dopaminergic differentiation. Results indicate that both early and later passaged MSCs exhibited positive expression of neuronal and dopaminergic markers following either the DDI or IDI protocols. Additionally, both early and later passaged MSCs released dopamine and exhibited spontaneous neuronal activity following either the DDI or IDI. Still, P4 MSCs exhibited significantly higher spiking and bursting frequencies as compared to P40 MSCs. Findings from this study provide evidence that early passaged MSCs, which have undergone the DDI, are more efficient at generating dopaminergic-like cells in vitro, as compared to later passaged MSCs or MSCs that have undergone the IDI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number720
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2 2018

Keywords

  • Dopaminergic neurons
  • Induction protocol
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Passaging

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