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Int J Stem Cells. 2017 Nov 30;10(2):193-217. doi: 10.15283/ijsc17036.

Proteomic Analysis of Human Adipose Derived Stem Cells during Small Molecule Chemical Stimulated Pre-neuronal Differentiation.

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Advanced Tissue Regeneration & Drug Delivery Group, School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Proteomics Core Facility, School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Northern Clinical School, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.



Adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) are acquired from abdominal liposuction yielding a thousand fold more stem cells per millilitre than those from bone marrow. A large research void exists as to whether ADSCs are capable of transdermal differentiation toward neuronal phenotypes. Previous studies have investigated the use of chemical cocktails with varying inconclusive results.


Human ADSCs were treated with a chemical stimulant, beta-mercaptoethanol, to direct them toward a neuronal-like lineage within 24 hours. Quantitative proteomics using iTRAQ was then performed to ascertain protein abundance differences between ADSCs, beta-mercaptoethanol treated ADSCs and a glioblastoma cell line.


The soluble proteome of ADSCs differentiated for 12 hours and 24 hours was significantly different from basal ADSCs and control cells, expressing a number of remodeling, neuroprotective and neuroproliferative proteins. However toward the later time point presented stress and shock related proteins were observed to be up regulated with a large down regulation of structural proteins. Cytokine profiles support a large cellular remodeling shift as well indicating cellular distress.


The earlier time point indicates an initiation of differentiation. At the latter time point there is a vast loss of cell population during treatment. At 24 hours drastically decreased cytokine profiles and overexpression of stress proteins reveal that exposure to beta-mercaptoethanol beyond 24 hours may not be suitable for clinical application as our results indicate that the cells are in trauma whilst producing neuronal-like morphologies. The shorter treatment time is promising, indicating a reducing agent has fast acting potential to initiate neuronal differentiation of ADSCs.


Adipose; Adult Stem Cells; Cytokines; Neuronal; Proteomics

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