Muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs) are multipotent stem cells with a remarkable long-term self-renewal and regeneration capacity. Here, we show that postnatal MDSCs could be transdifferentiated into Schwann cell-like cells upon the combined treatment of three neurotrophic factors (PDGF, NT-3 and IGF-2). The transdifferentiation of MDSCs was initially induced by Schwann cell (SC) conditioned medium. MDSCs adopted a spindle-like morphology similar to SCs after the transdifferentiation. Immunocytochemistry and immunoblot showed clearly that the SC markers S100, GFAP and p75 were expressed highly only after the transdifferentiation. Flow cytometry assay showed that the portion of S100 expressed cells was more than 60 percent and over one fourth of the transdifferentiated cells expressed all the three SC markers, indicating an efficient transdifferentiation. We then tested neurotrophic factors in the conditioned medium and found it was PDGF, NT-3 and IGF-2 in combination that conducted the transdifferentiation. Our findings demonstrate that it is possible to use specific neurotrophic factors to transdifferentiate MDSCs into Schwann cell-like cells, which might be therapeutically useful for clinical applications.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)