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Stem Cells International
Volume 2014, Article ID 162024, 11 pages
Research Article

A Cocktail Method for Promoting Cardiomyocyte Differentiation from Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Key Laboratory of Pathology of State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China

Received 10 January 2014; Revised 26 March 2014; Accepted 16 April 2014; Published 23 June 2014

Academic Editor: Pranela Rameshwar

Copyright © 2014 Qing Gao 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.


A growing body of evidence supports the argument that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate into cardiomyocyte-like cells in an appropriate cellular environment, but the differentiation rate is low. A cocktail method was designed: we investigated the role of 5-azacytidine (5-aza), salvianolic acid B (SalB), and cardiomyocyte lysis medium (CLM) in inducing MSCs to acquire the phenotypical characteristics of cardiomyocytes. The fourth-passage MSCs were treated with 5-aza, SalB, CLM, 5-aza+salB, 5-aza+CLM, SalB+CLM, and 5-aza+SalB+CLM for 2 weeks. Immunofluorescence results showed that cTnT expression in the 5-aza+salB+CLM group was stronger than other groups. Real-time qPCR and Western blotting analyses showed that cTnT, alpha-cardiac actin, mef-2c, Cx43, and GSK-3beta expression increased while beta-catenin expression decreased. The salB+5-aza+CLM group had the most evident effects. SalB combined with 5-aza and CLM improved cardiomyocyte differentiation from MSCs. In the MSCs differentiation process, the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway had been inhibited.