Signals in pathological CNS extracts of ALS mice promote hMSCs neurogenic differentiation in vitro


Corresponding author. Department of Neurology, First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, PR China. Fax: +86 020 87333122.


The capability of MSCs to differentiate into neurons has been proven by many studies. Recently, other studies have cast doubt on MSCs neurogenic differentiation with non-physiological chemical inducing agents in vitro. This present study was designed to use conditioned medium to investigate whether signals from pathological condition of ALS were competent to induce a program of neurogenic differentiation in expanded cultures of hMSCs. Incubation of hMSCs with conditioned medium prepared from CNS extracts of ALS mice (SOD1-G93A ALS mice) resulted in a time-dependent morphological change from fibroblast-like into neuron-like, concomitant with increase in the expression of Nestin and subsequent β-tubulin III, NSE and GAP43. Moreover, signals in pathological CNS extracts of ALS mice were more effective in promoting hMSCs neurogenic differentiation than those in physiological extracts of normal adult mice. These results show that pathological condition of ALS is endowed with capacity to induce hMSCs neurogenic differentiation and hMSCs have shown a potential candidate in cellular therapy for ALS.