Neural regeneration research

Differentiation of Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells into neurons in alginate scaffold.

PMID 26487861


Alginate scaffold has been considered as an appropriate biomaterial for promoting the differentiation of embryonic stem cells toward neuronal cell lineage. We hypothesized that alginate scaffold is suitable for culturing Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells (WJMSCs) and can promote the differentiation of WJMSCs into neuron-like cells. In this study, we cultured WJMSCs in a three-dimensional scaffold fabricated by 0.25% alginate and 50 mM CaCl2 in the presence of neurogenic medium containing 10 μM retinoic acid and 20 ng/mL basic fibroblast growth factor. These cells were also cultured in conventional two-dimensional culture condition in the presence of neurogenic medium as controls. After 10 days, immunofluorescence staining was performed for detecting β-tubulin (marker for WJMSCs-differentiated neuron) and CD271 (motor neuron marker). β-Tubulin and CD271 expression levels were significantly greater in the WJMSCs cultured in the three-dimensional alginate scaffold than in the conventional two-dimensional culture condition. These findings suggest that three-dimensional alginate scaffold cell culture system can induce neuronal differentiation of WJMSCs effectively.