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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 452948, 15 pages
Research Article

Mechanisms Underlying the Antiproliferative and Prodifferentiative Effects of Psoralen on Adult Neural Stem Cells via DNA Microarray

1Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200031, China
2Shanghai Institute of Geriatrics, Huadong Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200031, China

Received 21 March 2013; Accepted 28 April 2013

Academic Editor: Yong Qing Yang

Copyright © 2013 You Ning 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.


Adult neural stem cells (NSCs) persist throughout life to replace mature cells that are lost during turnover, disease, or injury. The investigation of NSC creates novel treatments for central nervous system (CNS) injuries and neurodegenerative disorders. The plasticity and reparative potential of NSC are regulated by different factors, which are critical for neurological regenerative medicine research. We investigated the effects of Psoralen, which is the mature fruit of Psoralea corylifolia L., on NSC behaviors and the underlying mechanisms. The self-renewal and proliferation of NSC were examined. We detected neuron- and/or astrocyte-specific markers using immunofluorescence and Western blotting, which could evaluate NSC differentiation. Psoralen treatment significantly inhibited neurosphere formation in a dose-dependent manner. Psoralen treatment increased the expression of the astrocyte-specific marker but decreased neuron-specific marker expression. These results suggested that Psoralen was a differentiation inducer in astrocyte. Differential gene expression following Psoralen treatment was screened using DNA microarray and confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. Our microarray study demonstrated that Psoralen could effectively regulate the specific gene expression profile of NSC. The genes involved in the classification of cellular differentiation, proliferation, and metabolism, the transcription factors belonging to Ets family, and the hedgehog pathway may be closely related to the regulation.