Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Shontiara Johnson - University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Co-Author(s): Malathi Srivatsan, Arkansas Biosciences Institute, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR Chetan Pandanaboina, Arkansas Biosciences Institute, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR Dustin Rhoads, Arkansas Biosciences Institute, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR
Neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries affect millions of people worldwide when functional units of the nervous system, neurons, are unable to function and die. Since neurons do not divide, unlike other cells in the body, and cannot replace themselves once they are lost, cell transplantation therapy is being proposed as a cure for these diseases. However, transplantation therapy requires a large number of neurons and neural stem cells (NSCs) which have the potential to differentiate into neural cells such as neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Researchers are trying different methods such as using growth factors, small molecules and cell-released vesicles known as exosomes from different tissue sources to increase neuronal differentiation from NSCs. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells that give rise to extracellular matrix (ECM), blood vessels, cartilage, bone, and muscle. Since MSCs and NSCs develop together, we hypothesized that MSC-derived molecules and vesicles including exosomes could influence neural differentiation. To test this hypothesis, conditioned medium was collected from mesenchymal stem cell culture and exosomes were isolated from the conditioned medium using Norgen Midi Exosome isolation kit (Norgen BioTek, Canada). Rat neural stem cells were then differentiated using (1) Conditioned medium (2) Isolated exosomes (3) Conditioned medium depleted of exosomes for one week to see if beneficial components obtained from different conditions would promote neuronal differentiation. Our initial results suggested that the medium of mesenchymal stem cells consists of neuronal differentiation promoting as well as inhibitory molecules and exosomes isolated from mesenchymal stem cells help promote differentiation of more neurons.Not Submitted
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF grant #1348389 to Dr. Srivatsan
Faculty Advisor: Malathi Srivatsan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I propagated both mesenchymal stem cells and neural stem cells, did experimentation with both groups of cells, and immunostained the cells.