It has been previously demonstrated that the neural cell microenvironment has the ability to induce differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) into the neural cells.OBJECTIVE:
To establish a co-culture system of human BMSCs and neural cells, and to observe effects of this co-culture system on differentiation of human BMSCs into neural cells.DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING:
A comparative observation experiment, performed at the Center Laboratory of the Affiliated Hospital of Medical College Qingdao University from October 2006 to December 2007.MATERIALS:
Neural cells were obtained from human fetal brain tissue. BMSCs were harvested from female patients that underwent autonomous stem cell transplantation.METHODS:
BMSCs in the co-culture group consisted of BMSCs and third passage neural cells. BMSCs in the control group were solely cultured in vitro.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Morphological changes of BMSCs were observed, and expression of the neuronal specific marker, neuron-specific enolase (NSE), was analyzed by immunofluorescence staining after 4–5-day co-culture.RESULTS:
The number of neural cells in the co-culture group increased and the cells spread on the culture bottle surface. Radial dendrite formed and connected with each other. NSE-immunoreactive cells were also detected. The positive ratio of NSE-positive cells reached (32.7±11.5)%, with morphological characteristics similar to neuronal cells. Human BMSCs did not express NSE in the control group.CONCLUSION:
The microenvironment provided by neurons induced differentiation of BMSCs into neuronal-like cells.