Neural differentiation of rat aorta pericyte cells

Authors

  • Enrique Montiel-Eulefi,

    1. Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
    2. Neuroscience Laboratory, Biotechnology of Reproduction Center (CEBIOR), Scientific and Technological Bioresource Nucleus (BIOREN), Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile
    3. Biotechnology and Reproduction Center (CEBIOR), Scientific and Technological Bioresource Nucleus (BIOREN), Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile
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  • Arthur A. Nery,

    1. Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • Lara C. Rodrigues,

    1. Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • Raúl Sánchez,

    1. Biotechnology and Reproduction Center (CEBIOR), Scientific and Technological Bioresource Nucleus (BIOREN), Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile
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  • Fernando Romero,

    1. Biotechnology and Reproduction Center (CEBIOR), Scientific and Technological Bioresource Nucleus (BIOREN), Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile
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  • Henning Ulrich

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
    • Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes 748, CEP 05508-900, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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Abstract

Pericyte perivascular cells, believed to originate mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), are characterized by their capability to differentiate into various phenotypes and participate in tissue reconstruction of different organs, including the brain. We show that these cells can be induced to differentiation into neural-like phenotypes. For these studies, pericytes were obtained from aorta ex-plants of Sprague–Dawley rats and differentiated into neural cells following induction with trans retinoic acid (RA) in serum-free defined media or differentiation media containing nerve growth and brain-derived neuronal factor, B27, N2, and IBMX. When induced to differentiation with RA, cells express the pluripotency marker protein stage-specific embryonic antigen-1, neural-specific proteins β3-tubulin, neurofilament-200, and glial fibrillary acidic protein, suggesting that pericytes undergo differentiation, similar to that of neuroectodermal cells. Differentiated cells respond with intracellular calcium transients to membrane depolarization by KCl indicating the presence of voltage-gated ion channels and express functional N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, characteristic for functional neurons. The study of neural differentiation of pericytes contributes to the understanding of induction of neuroectodermal differentiation as well as providing a new possible stem-cell source for cell regeneration therapy in the brain. © 2011 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry

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