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J Biomed Sci. 2013 Aug 1;20:53. doi: 10.1186/1423-0127-20-53.

Antioxidants cause rapid expansion of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells via CDK and CDK inhibitor regulation.



Antioxidants have been shown to enhance the proliferation of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSCs) in vitro, although the detailed mechanism(s) and potential side effects are not fully understood.


During log-phase growth, exposure to ImF-A resulted in a higher percentage of ADMSCs in the S phase of the cell cycle and a smaller percentage in G0/G1 phase. This resulted in a significantly reduced cell-doubling time and increased number of cells in the antioxidant-supplemented cultures compared with those supplemented with FGF-2 alone, an approximately 225% higher cell density after 7 days. Western blotting showed that the levels of the CDK inhibitors p21 and p27 decreased after ImF-A treatment, whereas CDK2, CDK4, and CDC2 levels clearly increased. In addition, ImF-A resulted in significant reduction in the expression of CD29, CD90, and CD105, whereas relative telomere length, osteogenesis, adipogenesis, and chondrogenesis were enhanced. The results were similar for ADMSCs treated with antioxidants and those under hypoxic conditions.


Antioxidant treatment promotes entry of ADMSCs into the S phase by suppressing cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors and results in rapid cell proliferation similar to that observed under hypoxic conditions.

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