Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 3816256, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/3816256
Research Article

Differentiation of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Cardiomyocyte-Like Cells Is Regulated by the Combined Low Dose Treatment of Transforming Growth Factor-β1 and 5-Azacytidine

1Emergency Center, Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100029, China
2Beijing Institute of Heart Lung and Blood Vessel Diseases, Beijing 100029, China

Received 19 April 2015; Revised 24 May 2015; Accepted 15 July 2015

Academic Editor: Isotta Chimenti

Copyright © 2016 Shutian Shi 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.

Abstract

Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) are used in cardiac tissue engineering for the regeneration of diseased hearts. We examined the differentiation of rat BMMSCs into cardiomyocyte-like cells when induced with a combined low dose treatment of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and 5-azacytidine (5-AZA). Results showed that cell proliferation in the combined low dose treatment group of TGF-β1 and 5-AZA was increased compared with the TGF-β1 group or the 5-AZA group. The cell apoptosis was relieved by combined TGF-β1 and 5-AZA treatment compared to 5-AZA treatment alone. The number of cells positive for myosin heavy chain, connexin-43, α-actin, and troponin I in the combined treatment group was higher than those observed in the TGF-β1 group or the 5-AZA group. Moreover, the combined low dose treatment group of TGF-β1 and 5-AZA reveals the strongest expression of troponin I, α-actin, and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (p-ErK1/2) among the treatment groups. These results suggest that the combined low dose treatment of TGF-β1 and 5-AZA can improve the differentiation potential of rat BMMSCs into cardiomyocyte-like cells and alleviate cell damage effects in vitro. The mechanism that is involved in influencing differentiation may be associated with p-ErK1/2.