Effects of mechanical stimulus on mesenchymal stem cells differentiation toward cardiomyocytes

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Background: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) known to be sensitive to mechanical stimulus. This type of stimulus plays a role in cellular differentiation, so that it might affect MSCs differentiation toward cardiomyocytes.

Objectives: Investigate the effect of mechanical stimulus on MSCs differentiation toward cardiomyocytes.

Methods: The adipose tissue-derived MSCs were induced to differentiate with 5-azacytidine, and stimulated by one Hz mechanical stretching up to 8%. After 10 days, the cell’s cardiac markers and cardiogenesis-related genes were detected by immumohistochemistrical staining and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and the cell’s ATPase activity was detected.

Results: The cyclic mechanical stretching enhanced the expression of cardiogenesis-related genes and cardiac markers, and stimulated the activity of Na+-K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase in the MSCs treated with 5-azacytidine. Without 5-azacytidine pre-treatment, cyclic mechanical stretch alone has little effect.

Conclusion: Mechanical stretch combined with 5-azacytidine treatment could accelerate MSCs differentiation toward cardiomyocytes.

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