Human peripheral nerve-derived pluripotent cells can be stimulated by in vitro bone morphogenetic protein-2
Heggeness, Michael H.
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Sun, R., Jia, T., Dart, B., Shrestha, S., Bretches, M., Heggeness, M. H., & Yang, S. -. (2021). Human peripheral nerve-derived pluripotent cells can be stimulated by in vitro bone morphogenetic protein-2. Bioengineering, 8(10) doi:10.3390/bioengineering8100132
We have recently identified a population of cells within the peripheral nerves of adult rodent animals (mice and rats) that can respond to Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 (BMP-2) exposure or physical injury to rapidly proliferate. More importantly, these cells exhibited embryonic differentiation potentials that could be induced into osteoblastic and endothelial cells in vitro. The current study examined human nerve specimens to compare and characterize the cells after BMP-2 stimulation. Fresh pieces of human nerve tissue were minced and treated with either BMP-2 (750 ng/mL) or a PBS vehicle for 12 h at 37 °C, before being digested in 0.2% collagenase and 0.05% trypsin-EDTA. Isolated cells were cultured in a restrictive stem cell medium. Significantly more cells were obtained from the nerve pieces with the BMP-2 treatment in comparison with the PBS vehicle controls. Cell colonies started to form at Day 3. Expressions of the four transcription factors, namely, Klf4, c-Myc, Sox2, and Oct4, were confirmed at both the transcriptional and translational levels. The cells can be maintained in the stem cell culture medium for at least 6 weeks without changing their morphology. When the cells were transferred to a fibroblast growth medium, dispersed spindle-shaped motile cells were noted and became fibroblast activated protein-α (FAP) positive with immunocytochemistry staining. The data suggest that human peripheral nerve tissue also contains a population of cells that can respond to BMP-2 and express Klf4, Sox2, cMyc, and Oct4—the four transcription factors driving cell pluripotency. These cells are able to differentiate into FAP-positive fibroblasts. In summary, in human peripheral nerves also reside a population of quiescent cells with pluripotency potential that may be the same cells as rodent nerve-derived adult stem (NEDAPS) cells. It is proposed that these cells are possibly at the core of a previously unknown natural mechanism for healing an injury.
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