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Stem Cells Dev. 2012 May 1;21(7):1069-89. doi: 10.1089/scd.2011.0124. Epub 2011 Oct 17.

Aorta-derived mesoangioblasts differentiate into the oligodendrocytes by inhibition of the Rho kinase signaling pathway.

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Department of Comparative Biosciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61802, USA.


Mesoangioblasts are vessel-derived stem cells that differentiate into mesodermal derivatives. We have isolated postnatal aorta-derived mesoangioblasts (ADMs) that differentiate into smooth, skeletal, and cardiac muscle, and adipocytes, and regenerate damaged skeletal muscle in a murine model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We report that the marker profile of ADM is similar to that of mesoangioblasts isolated from embryonic dorsal aorta, postnatal bone marrow, and heart, but distinct from mesoangioblasts derived from skeletal muscle. We also demonstrate that ADM differentiate into myelinating glial cells. ADM localize to peripheral nerve bundles in regenerating muscles and exhibit morphology and marker expression of mature Schwann cells, and myelinate axons. In vitro, ADM spontaneously express markers of oligodendrocyte progenitors, including the chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan NG2, nestin, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor α, the A2B5 antigen, thyroid hormone nuclear receptor α, and O4. Pharmacological inhibition of Rho kinase (ROCK) initiated process extension by ADM, and when combined with insulin-like growth factor 1, PDGF, and thyroid hormone, enhanced ADM expression of oligodendrocyte precursor markers and maturation into the oligodendrocyte lineage. ADM injected into the right lateral ventricle of the brain migrate to the corpus callosum, and cerebellar white matter, where they express components of myelin. Because ADM differentiate or mature into cell types of both mesodermal and ectodermal origin, they may be useful for treatment of a variety of degenerative diseases, or repair and regeneration of multiple cell types in severely damaged tissue.

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