Activin-Directed Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells Differentially Modulates Alveolar Epithelial Wound Repair via Paracrine Mechanism


Differentiated embryonic stem cells (ESC) can ameliorate lung inflammation and fibrosis in animal lung injury models; therefore, ESC, or their products, could be candidates for regenerative therapy for incurable lung diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In this study, we have investigated the paracrine effect of differentiated and undifferentiated human ESC on alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) wound repair. hESC line, SHEF-2 cells were differentiated with Activin treatment for 22 days in an embryoid body (EB) suspension culture. Conditioned media (CM) which contain cell secretory factors were collected at different time points of differentiation. CM were then tested onin vitro wound repair model with human type II AEC line, A549 cells (AEC). Our study demonstrated that CM originated from undifferentiated hESC significantly inhibited AEC wound repair when compared to the control. Whereas, CM originated from Activin-directed hESC differentiated cell population demonstrated a differential reparative effect on AEC wound repair model. CM obtained from Day-11 of differentiation significantly enhanced AEC wound repair in comparison to CM collected from pre- and post-Day-11 of differentiation. Day-11 CM enhanced AEC wound repair through significant stimulation of cell migration and cell proliferation. RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry confirmed that Day-11 CM was originated form a mixed population of endodermal/mesodermal differentiated hESC. This report suggests a putative paracrine-mediated epithelial injury healing mechanism by hESC secreted products, which is valuable in the development of novel stem cell-based therapeutic strategies.

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Akram, K. , Spiteri, M. and Forsyth, N. (2014) Activin-Directed Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells Differentially Modulates Alveolar Epithelial Wound Repair via Paracrine Mechanism. Stem Cell Discovery, 4, 67-82. doi: 10.4236/scd.2014.43008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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