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Adipose tissues contain populations of pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells that also secrete various cytokines and growth factors to support repair of damaged tissues. In this study, we examined the role of oxidative stress on human adipose-derived multilineage progenitor cells (hADMPCs) in neurite outgrowth in cells of the rat pheochromocytoma cell line (PC12).
We found that glutathione depletion in hADMPCs, caused by treatment with buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), resulted in the promotion of neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells through upregulation of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) transcription in, and secretion from, hADMPCs. Addition of N-acetylcysteine, a precursor of the intracellular antioxidant glutathione, suppressed the BSO-mediated upregulation of BMP2 and FGF2. Moreover, BSO treatment caused phosphorylation of p38 MAPK in hADMPCs. Inhibition of p38 MAPK was sufficient to suppress BMP2 and FGF2 expression, while this expression was significantly upregulated by overexpression of a constitutively active form of MKK6, which is an upstream molecule from p38 MAPK.
Our results clearly suggest that glutathione depletion, followed by accumulation of reactive oxygen species, stimulates the activation of p38 MAPK and subsequent expression of BMP2 and FGF2 in hADMPCs. Thus, transplantation of hADMPCs into neurodegenerative lesions such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease, in which the transplanted hADMPCs are exposed to oxidative stress, can be the basis for simple and safe therapies.