Modification of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene: A portal to transform mesenchymal stem cells into advantageous engineering cells for neuroregeneration and neuroprotection

Lian Xu Zhao, Jie Zhang, Feng Cao, Ling Meng, Dong Mei Wang, Yan Hua Li, Xue Nan, Wen Cang Jiao, Min Zheng, Xiao Hu Xu, Xue Tao Pei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Multipotential mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are ideal seed cells for recruiting the loss of neural cells due to their strong proliferative capacity, easy acquisition, and considerable tolerance of genetic modifications. After transduction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene via recombinant retroviral vectors into the human MSCs, nearly 100% of cells expressed BDNF (which were therefore transformed into BNDF-MSCs) as detected by immunocytochemistry, and the quantity of BDNF in the culture medium was increased by approximately 20,000-fold. In spite of the genomic integration of an exogenous gene, BDNF-MSCs did not present any structural aberration in the chromosomes. All-trans-retinoic acid (RA) induction caused the BDNF-MSCs to differentiate into neural cells with significantly increased expressions of such neural-specific proteins as nestin, NeuN, O4, and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The voltage-dependent K +/Ca 2+ currents were recorded from the induced BDNF-MSCs using patch-clamp technique. Compared with the MSCs induced by both RA and BDNF, BDNF-MSCs survived in significantly greater number in the induction medium, and also more cells were induced into neuron-like cells (NeuN, P < 0.01) and oligodendrocyte-like cells (O4, P < 0.05). We suppose that, once engrafted into human central nervous system, the BDNF-MSCs would not only recruit the neuronal losses, but also provide, by way of paracrine, large quantities of BDNF that effectively perform the functions of neuroprotection and neuroregeneration, promoting the activation of endogenous neural stem/progenitor cells and their chemotactic migration. On the other hand, the BDNF-MSCs that can survive in the host environment and differentiate subsequently into functional mature cells may also serve as specifically targeting vectors for ex vivo gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-406
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Neurology
Volume190
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Gene therapy
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Retroviral vector
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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