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Human adipose tissue-derived multilineage progenitor cells exposed to oxidative stress induce neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells through p38 MAPK signaling

Mariko Moriyama12, Hiroyuki Moriyama1*, Ayaka Ueda1, Yusuke Nishibata1, Hanayuki Okura2, Akihiro Ichinose3, Akifumi Matsuyama2 and Takao Hayakawa1

Author Affiliations

1 Pharmaceutical Research and Technology Institute, Kinki University, 3-4-1 Kowakae, Higashi-Osaka, Osaka, 577-8502, Japan

2 Department of Somatic Stem Cell Therapy and Health Policy, Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation, TRI305, 1-5-4 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 650-0047, Japan

3 Department of Plastic Surgery, Kobe University Hospital, Kobe, Japan

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BMC Cell Biology 2012, 13:21  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-13-21

Published: 7 August 2012



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.

Human adipose-derived multilineage progenitor cells; Adult stem cells; Reactive oxygen species; p38 MAPK; Neurite outgrowth; BMP2; FGF2; Neurodegenerative disorders