Motor neuron differentiation potential of human umbilical cord blood- derived mesenchymal stem cells, in vitro

Faezeh Faghihi,1,*



Many people suffer from spinal cord injuries annually. these deficits usually threaten the quality of life of patients. as a postpartum medically waste product, human umbilical cord blood (ucb) is a rich source of stem cells with self- renewal properties and neural differentiation capacity which made it useful in regenerative medicine.


Since there is no report on potential of human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells into motor neurons, we set out to evaluate the differentiation properties of these cells into motor neuron-like cells through administration of retinoic acid(ra), sonic hedgehog(shh) and bdnf using a three- step in vitro procedure.


The results were evaluated using real-time pcr, flowcytometry and immunocytochemistry for two weeks. our data showed that the cells changed into bipolar morphology and could express markers related to motor neuron; including hb-9, pax-6, islet-1, nf-h, chat at the level of mrna and protein. we could also quantitatively evaluate the expression of islet-1, chat and nf-h at 7 and 14 days post- induction using flowcytometry.


It is concluded that human ucb-mscs is potent to express motor neuron- related markers in the presence of ra, shh and bdnf through a three- step protocol; thus it could be a suitable cell candidate for regeneration of motor neurons in spinal cord injuries.


human umbilical