Migration of human umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells mediated by stromal cell-derived factor-1/CXCR4 axis via Akt, ERK, and p38 signal transduction pathways.Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2010; 398(1):105-10BB
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have been used for cell-based therapies in degenerative disease and as vehicles for delivering therapeutic genes to sites of injury and tumors. Recently, umbilical cord blood (UCB) was identified as a source for MSCs, and human UCB-derived MSCs (hUCB-MSCs) can serve as an alternative source of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs). However, migration signaling pathways required for homing and recruitment of hUCB-MSCs are not fully understood. Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1), a ligand for the CXCR4 chemokine receptor, plays a pivotal role in mobilization and homing of stem cells and modulates different biological responses in various stem cells. In this study, expression of CXCR4 in hUCB-MSCs was studied by western blot analysis and the functional role of SDF-1 was assessed. SDF-1 induced the migration of hUCB-MSCs in a dose-dependent manner. The induced migration was inhibited by the CXCR4-specific peptide antagonist (AMD3100) and by inhibitors of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (LY294002), mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal related kinase (PD98059) and p38MAPK inhibitor (SB203580). hUCB-MSCs treated with SDF-1 displayed increased phosphorylation of Akt, ERK and p38, which were inhibited by AMD3100. Small-interfering RNA-mediated knock-down of Akt, ERK and p38 blocked SDF-1 induced hUCB-MSC migration. In addition, SDF-1-induced actin polymerization was also blocked by these inhibitors. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Akt, ERK and p38 signal transduction pathways may be involved in SDF-1-mediated migration of hUCB-MSCs.