Neurons Derived From Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Show Synaptic Transmission and Can Be Induced to Produce the Neurotransmitter Substance P by Interleukin-1α

Authors

  • Kyung Jin Cho,

    1. Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology and Graduate School of Biomedical Science-Interdisciplinary Program, Newark, New Jersey, USA
    2. Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, Korea University, Seoul, Korea
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  • Katarzyna A. Trzaska,

    1. Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology and Graduate School of Biomedical Science-Interdisciplinary Program, Newark, New Jersey, USA
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  • Steven J. Greco,

    1. Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology and Graduate School of Biomedical Science-Interdisciplinary Program, Newark, New Jersey, USA
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  • Joseph McArdle,

    1. Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Anesthesiology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, USA
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  • Fu Shun Wang,

    1. Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Anesthesiology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, USA
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  • Jiang-Hong Ye,

    1. Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Anesthesiology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, USA
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  • Pranela Rameshwar

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology and Graduate School of Biomedical Science-Interdisciplinary Program, Newark, New Jersey, USA
    • UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Avenue, Newark, New Jersey 07103, USA. Telephone: 973-972-0625; fax: 973-972-8854
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Abstract

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) exhibit immune-suppressive properties, follow a pattern of multilineage differentiation, and exhibit transdifferentiation potential. Ease in expansion from adult bone marrow, as well as its separation from ethical issues, makes MSCs appealing for clinical application. MSCs treated with retinoic acid resulted in synaptic transmission, based on immunostaining of synaptophysin and electrophysiological studies. In situ hybridization indicated that the neurotransmitter gene preprotachykinin-I was expressed in these cells. However, translation of this gene only occurred after stimulation with interleukin (IL)-1α. This effect was blunted by costimulation with IL-1 receptor antagonist. This study reports on the ability of MSCs to be transdifferentiated into neurons with functional synapses with the potential to become polarized towards producing specific neurotransmitters.

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