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Heat Shock–Induced Enhancement of Osteoblastic Differentiation of hTERT-Immortalized Mesenchymal Stem Cells


Address for correspondence: Dr. Suresh I.S. Rattan, Department of Molecular Biology, University of Aarhus, Gustav Wieds Vej 10C, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. Voice: +45 8942 5034; fax: +45 8612 3178.


Abstract: Heat shock (HS)–induced stress response in human cells results in a variety of biological effects and is known to induce the transcription of heat-shock proteins, which help the cells to cope with different kinds of stress. We have studied the effects of HS on the differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) into osteoblastic cells. As a model for hMSCs we used a telomerase-immortalized hMSC line designated hMSC-TERT. Cells were exposed to 1 h HS at 41°C, 42.5°C, or 44°C prior to incubation in a medium containing either 10−8 M 1α,25-dihydroxy-vitamin-D3 (calcitriol) or 10−8 M calcitriol, 50 μg/mL l-ascorbic acid, and 10 mM β-glycerophosphate followed by an analysis of induction of osteoblast differentiation and the formation of mineralized matrix, respectively. Our results indicate that the exposure of cells to mild heat stress enhances the extent of differentiation of hMSCs by 12% to 42%. These effects are an expression of the phenomenon of mild stress-induced hormesis.