Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into retinal progenitor cells*

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Abstract

Research Highlights

(1) This study used neural stem cell-conditioned medium, using the telencephalon of fetal rats of embryonic day 14, to induce neural differentiation from Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells. As the neural stem cells were in the development phase there were no glial cells present in the cultures, thus benefiting the induction of Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells.

Research Highlights

(2) After microenvironment induction, the cells were further cultured in neural stem cell-conditioned medium supplemented with Dkk-1, a Wnt/β catenin pathway antagonist, and LeftyA, a Nodal signaling pathway antagonist.

Research Highlights

(3) Results showed that induced Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells differentiated into bulbous cells with numerous processes and expressed the retinal progenitor cell markers Rx and Pax6.

Research Highlights

(4) Results demonstrated that Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells can be induced to differentiate into retinal progenitor cells and may be used as seed cells for the clinical treatment of jury-induced visual diseases.

Human Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells were isolated from fetal umbilical cord. Cells were cultured in serum-free neural stem cell-conditioned medium or neural stem cell-conditioned medium supplemented with Dkk-1, a Wnt/β catenin pathway antagonist, and LeftyA, a Nodal signaling pathway antagonist to induce differentiation into retinal progenitor cells. Inverted microscopy showed that after induction, the spindle-shaped or fibroblast-like Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells changed into bulbous cells with numerous processes. Immunofluorescent cytochemical ing and reverse-transcription PCR showed positive expression of retinal progenitor cell markers, Pax6 and Rx, as well as weakly down-regulated nestin expression. These results demonstrate that Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells are capable of differentiating into retinal progenitor cells in vitro.

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