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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Nov 10;350(1):138-46. Epub 2006 Sep 14.

Analysis of neuron-like differentiation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells.

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  • 1Catholic Neuroscience Center, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


The objective of the study was to evaluate differentiation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells into true or pseudo neurons after treating with chemical induction medium in vitro. The morphological changes were assessed using interference contrast microscopy. Immunocytochemistry and Western blotting were performed using neuronal markers. Further evaluation was conducted with proteomic profiling, DNA microarray analysis and the whole-cell patch clamp test. After three hours of treatment with chemical induction medium, nearly three-fourths of the hMSCs changed to cells with a neuronal phenotype. The results of immunocytochemistry and Western blotting showed a high expression of neuronal markers in these cells at 3 h which decreased at 24 h. The proteomics analysis showed no change of proteins related to neuronal differentiation. DNA microarray showed downregulation of neuron related genes. The patch clamp test was unable to demonstrate any similarity to true neurons. Our findings suggest that neuron-like cells derived from chemical induction of hMSCs are not the genuine neurons as they resemble true neurons phenotypically but are different in genotypic and electrophysiological characteristics.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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