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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2008 Sep 10;291(1-2):116-24. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2008.05.005. Epub 2008 May 17.

Roles of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in adipogenic differentiation potential of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells.

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  • 1Laboratory of Animal Fat Deposition and Muscle Development, Department of Animal Science and Technology, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, 22 Xinong Road, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China.


Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway controls differentiation of various cells by regulating the expression of target genes. beta-Catenin plays a central role in Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of fate determination in adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AMSCs), we investigated effects of Wnt3a and beta-catenin, two key members of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, in adipogenic differentiation of porcine AMSCs. We demonstrated that Wnt3a protein can inhibit the adipogenic differentiation of porcine AMSCs in vitro culture. By stabilization of cytoplasmic beta-catenin with continuous treatment by LiCl, the adipogenic differentiation of AMSCs was also suppressed and the osteogenesis was stimulated. In contrast, a loss of beta-catenin in AMSCs enhanced the adipogenic differentiation and rescued LiCl-induced anti-adipogenesis. In addition, the mutual activation of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-alpha (C/EBPalpha) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma) were repressed in the presence of Wnt3a or LiCl, but increased in the gene silencing of beta-catenin. Taken together, our study indicated that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway inhibited the adipogenic differentiation potential and alter the cell fate from adipocytes to osteoblasts.

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