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TGFβ and Wnt Signaling Pathways Cooperatively Enhance Early Dopaminergic Differentiation of the Unrestricted Somatic Stem Cells

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So far no evidence is available as to whether TGFβ and Wnt signaling pathways cooperatively modulate dopaminergic differentiation of the adult stem cells. To investigate the interaction between the two pathways in early dopaminergic differentiation, we cultured the newly introduced unrestricted somatic stem cells (USSCs) in neuron differentiation media followed by treatments with inducers and inhibitors of Wnt and TGF beta pathways either alone or in combinations. Our results showed that the level of Nurr-1 as a marker for dopaminergic neuron precursors and that of the nuclear β-catenin as the key effector of the active Wnt pathway were significantly elevated following the treatment with either TGFβ or BIO (the Wnt pathway inducer). Conversely, Nurr-1 expression was significantly reduced following the combined treatments with SB431542 (the TGFβ inhibitor) plus BIO or with TGFβ plus Dkk1 (the specific Wnt inhibitor). Nuclear β-catenin was also significantly reduced following combined treatments with SB431542 plus either BIO or TGFβ. Altogether, our results imply that Wnt and TGFβ signaling pathways cooperatively ensure the early dopaminergic differentiation of the USSC adult stem cells.

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This study was supported by Centre for International Scientific Studies and Collaboration (CISSC) under the International cooperative Research Program (ICRP; code: 1917), University of Tehran (6104040/6/028), and the National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (Nigeb).

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Correspondence to Azita Parvaneh Tafreshi.

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All studies were accomplished in accordance with the guidelines provided by “Tehran University of Medical Sciences Research Ethics Committee.”

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Akhlaghpour, A., Parvaneh Tafreshi, A., Roussa, E. et al. TGFβ and Wnt Signaling Pathways Cooperatively Enhance Early Dopaminergic Differentiation of the Unrestricted Somatic Stem Cells. J Mol Neurosci (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12031-020-01487-x

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  • Wnt
  • TGFβ
  • Unrestricted somatic stem cells
  • Dopaminergic neural differentiation