Cell and tissue research

Three-dimensional differentiation of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells into insulin-producing cells.

PMID 25795142


The aim of this study is to evaluate the collagen/hyaluronic acid (Col/HA) scaffold effect on the differentiation of insulin-producing cells (IPCs) from adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs). In this experimental study, ASCs were cultured and seeded in a Col/HA scaffold (3D culture) and then treated with induction media. After induction, the presence of IPCs was evaluated using gene expression (PDX-1, GLUT-2 and insulin) analysis and immunocytochemistry, while functional maturity was determined by measuring insulin release in response to low- and high-glucose media. The induced IPCs were morphologically similar to pancreatic islet-like cells. Expression of the islet-associated genes PDX-1, GLUT-2 and insulin genes in 3D-cultured cells was markedly higher than the 2D-cultured cells exposure differentiation media. Compared to the 2D culture of ASCs-derived IPCs, the insulin release from 3D ASCs-derived IPCs showed a nearly 4-fold (p < 0.05) increase when exposed to a high glucose (25 mmol) medium. The percentage of insulin-positive cells in the 3D experimental group showed an approximately 4-fold increase compared to the 2D experimental culture cells. The results of this study demonstrated that the COL/HA scaffold can enhance the differentiation of IPCs from rat ASCs.