Lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1 expresses in mouse bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and stimulates their proliferation

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The bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (bmMSCs) have been widely used in cell transplant therapy, and the proliferative ability of bmMSCs is one of the determinants of the therapy efficiency. Lectin-like oxidized low density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) as a transmembrane protein is responsible for binding, internalizing and degrading oxidized low density lipoprotein (ox-LDL). It has been identified that LOX-1 is expressed in endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, cardiomyocytes, fibroblasts and monocytes. In these cells, low concentration of ox-LDL (<40 μg/mL) stimulates their proliferation via LOX-1 activation. However, it is poor understood that whether LOX-1 is expressed in bmMSCs and which role it plays. In this study, we investigated the status of LOX-1 expression in bmMSCs and its function on bmMSC proliferation. Our results showed that primary bmMSCs exhibiting a typical fibroblast-like morphology are positive for CD44 and CD90, but negative for CD34 and CD45. LOX-1 in both mRNA and protein levels is highly expressed in bmMSCs. Meanwhile, bmMSCs exhibit a strong potential to take up ox-LDL. Moreover, LOX-1 expression in bmMSCs is upregulated by ox-LDL with a dose- and time-dependent manner. Presence of ox-LDL also enhances the proliferation of bmMSCs. Knockdown of LOX-1 expression significantly inhibits ox-LDL-induced bmMSC proliferation. These findings indicate that LOX-1 plays a role in bmMSC proliferation.

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