Involvement of WNT Signaling in the Regulation of Gestational Age-Dependent Umbilical Cord-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Proliferation

Sota Iwatani, Akemi Shono, Makiko Yoshida, Keiji Yamana, Khin Kyae Mon Thwin, Jumpei Kuroda, Daisuke Kurokawa, Tsubasa Koda, Kosuke Nishida, Toshihiko Ikuta, Kazumichi Fujioka, Masami Mizobuchi, Mariko Taniguchi-Ikeda, Ichiro Morioka, Kazumoto Iijima, Noriyuki Nishimura

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a heterogeneous cell population that is isolated initially from the bone marrow (BM) and subsequently almost all tissues including umbilical cord (UC). UC-derived MSCs (UC-MSCs) have attracted an increasing attention as a source for cell therapy against various degenerative diseases due to their vigorous proliferation and differentiation. Although the cell proliferation and differentiation of BM-derived MSCs is known to decline with age, the functional difference between preterm and term UC-MSCs is poorly characterized. In the present study, we isolated UC-MSCs from 23 infants delivered at 22-40 weeks of gestation and analyzed their gene expression and cell proliferation. Microarray analysis revealed that global gene expression in preterm UC-MSCs was distinct from term UC-MSCs. WNT signaling impacts on a variety of tissue stem cell proliferation and differentiation, and its pathway genes were enriched in differentially expressed genes between preterm and term UC-MSCs. Cell proliferation of preterm UC-MSCs was significantly enhanced compared to term UC-MSCs and counteracted by WNT signaling inhibitor XAV939. Furthermore, WNT2B expression in UC-MSCs showed a significant negative correlation with gestational age (GA). These results suggest that WNT signaling is involved in the regulation of GA-dependent UC-MSC proliferation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8749751
JournalStem Cells International
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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