Cross-talk between Wnt signaling pathways in human mesenchymal stem cells leads to functional antagonism during osteogenic differentiation

Authors

  • Dolores Baksh,

    1. Department and Health and Human Services, Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics Branch, National Institute of Arthritis, and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892
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  • Genevieve M. Boland,

    1. Department and Health and Human Services, Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics Branch, National Institute of Arthritis, and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892
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  • Rocky S. Tuan

    Corresponding author
    1. Department and Health and Human Services, Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics Branch, National Institute of Arthritis, and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892
    • Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics Branch, National Institute of Arthritis, and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 50 South Drive, Room 1523, MSC 8022, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-8022.
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Abstract

Wnt signaling is involved in developmental processes and in adult stem cell homeostasis. This study analyzes the role(s) of key Wnt signaling mediators in the maintenance and osteogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). We focus specifically on the involvement of low-density lipoprotein-related protein 5 (LRP5), T-cell factor 1 (TCF1), and Frizzled (Fz) receptors, in the presence or absence of exogenous, prototypical canonical (Wnt3a), and non-canonical (Wnt5a) Wnts. In undifferentiated MSCs, LRP5 and TCF1 mediate canonical Wnt signal transduction, leading to increased proliferation, enhanced synergistically by Wnt3a. However, LRP5 overexpression inhibits osteogenic differentiation, further suppressed by Wnt3a. Wnt5a does not affect cell proliferation but enhances osteogenesis of MSCs. Interestingly, Wnt5a inhibits Wnt3a effects on MSCs, while Wnt3a suppresses Wnt5a-mediated enhancement of osteogenesis. Flow cytometry revealed that LRP5 expression elicits differential changes in Fz receptor profiles in undifferentiated versus osteogenic MSCs. Taken together, these results suggest that Wnt signaling crosstalk and functional antagonism with the LRP5 co-receptor are key signaling regulators of MSC maintenance and differentiation. J. Cell. Biochem. 101:1109–1124, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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