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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 254793, 11 pages
Research Article

Influence of Egr-1 in Cardiac Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Response to Glucose Variations

1Department of Medical-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine, University “Sapienza”, Corso della Repubblica 79, 04100 Latina, Italy
2Center for Life Nano Science@Sapienza, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Viale Regina Elena 291, 00161 Rome, Italy
3School of Medicine, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK
4Laboratory of Vascular Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Centro Cardiologico Monzino, IRCCS, Via C. Parea 4, 20138 Milan, Italy
5Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Francesco Sforza 35, 20122 Milan, Italy

Received 24 January 2014; Accepted 6 May 2014; Published 22 May 2014

Academic Editor: Gianluigi Condorelli

Copyright © 2014 Daniela Bastianelli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) represent a promising cell population for cell therapy and regenerative medicine applications. However, how variations in glucose are perceived by MSC pool is still unclear. Since, glucose metabolism is cell type and tissue dependent, this must be considered when MSCs are derived from alternative sources such as the heart. The zinc finger transcription factor Egr-1 is an important early response gene, likely to play a key role in the glucose-induced response. Our aim was to investigate how short-term changes in in vitro glucose concentrations affect multipotent cardiac tissue-derived MSCs (cMSCs) in a mouse model of Egr-1 KO (Egr-1−/−). Results showed that loss of Egr-1 does not significantly influence cMSC proliferation. In contrast, responses to glucose variations were observed in wt but not in Egr-1−/− cMSCs by clonogenic assay. Phenotype analysis by RT-PCR showed that cMSCs Egr-1−/− lost the ability to regulate the glucose transporters GLUT-1 and GLUT-4 and, as expected, the Egr-1 target genes VEGF, TGFβ-1, and p300. Acetylated protein levels of H3 histone were impaired in Egr-1−/− compared to wt cMSCs. We propose that Egr-1 acts as immediate glucose biological sensor in cMSCs after a short period of stimuli, likely inducing epigenetic modifications.