Author(s): Tee Jong Huat, Amir Ali Khan, Jafri Malin Abdullah, Fauziah Mohamad Idris
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) enhances cellular proliferation and reduces apoptosis during the early differentiation of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) into neural progenitor-like cells (NPCs) in the presence of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). BMSCs were differentiated in three groups of growth factors: (A) EGF + bFGF, (B) EGF + bFGF + IGF-1, and (C) without growth factor. To unravel the molecular mechanisms of the NPCs derivation, microarray analysis using GeneChip® miRNA arrays was performed. The profiles were compared among the groups. Annotated microRNA fingerprints (GSE60060) delineated 46 microRNAs temporally up-regulated or down-regulated compared to group C. The expressions of selected microRNAs were validated by real-time PCR. Among the 46 microRNAs, 30 were consistently expressed for minimum of two consecutive time intervals. In Group B, only miR-496 was up-regulated and 12 microRNAs, including the let-7 family, miR-1224, miR-125a-3p, miR-214, miR-22, miR-320, miR-708, and miR-93, were down-regulated. Bioinformatics analysis reveals that some of these microRNAs (miR-22, miR-214, miR-125a-3p, miR-320 and let-7 family) are associated with reduction of apoptosis. Here, we summarize the roles of key microRNAs associated with IGF-1 in the differentiation of BMSCs into NPCs. These findings may provide clues to further our understanding of the mechanisms and roles of microRNAs as key regulators of BMSC-derived NPC maintenance.