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J Cell Biochem. 2019 Dec;120(12):19712-19720. doi: 10.1002/jcb.29277. Epub 2019 Jul 11.

Differentiation of human olfactory system-derived stem cells into dopaminergic neuron-like cells: A comparison between olfactory bulb and mucosa as two sources of stem cells.

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ENT and Head & Neck Research Center and Department, The Five Senses Institute, Hazrat Rasoul Akram Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Faculty of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Cell transplantation has become a possible therapeutic approach in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases of the nervous system by replacing lost cells. The current study aimed to make a comparison between the differentiation capacity of the olfactory bulb neural stem cells (OB-NSCs) and olfactory ectomesenchymal stem cells (OE-MSCs) into dopaminergic-like neurons under the inductive effect of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β). After culturing and treating with TGF-β, the differentiation capacities of both types of stem cells into dopaminergic neuron-like cells were evaluated. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis 3 weeks after induction demonstrated that the mRNA expression of the dopaminergic activity markers tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine transporter (DAT), paired box gene 2 (PAX2), and PAX5 in the neuron-like cells derived from OB-NSCs was significantly higher than those derived from OE-MSCs. These findings were further supported by the immunocytochemistry staining showing that the expression of the tyrosine hydroxylase, DAT, PAX2, and paired like homeodomain 3 seemed to be slightly higher in OB-NSCs compared with OE-MSCs. Despite the lower differentiation capacity of OE-MSCs, other considerations such as a noninvasive and easier harvesting process, faster proliferation attributes, longer life span, autologous transplantability, and also the easier and inexpensive cultural process of the OE-MSCs, cumulatively make these cells the more appropriate alternative in the case of autologous transplantation during the treatment process of neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease.


dopaminergic neurons; ectomesenchymal stem cells; neural stem cells; olfactory bulb; olfactory mucosa


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