Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 3995–4007 | Cite as

Differentiation of single cell derived human mesenchymal stem cells into cells with a neuronal phenotype: RNA and microRNA expression profile

  • Francesca Crobu
  • Veronica Latini
  • Maria Franca Marongiu
  • Valeria Sogos
  • Franca Scintu
  • Susanna Porcu
  • Carla Casu
  • Manuela Badiali
  • Adele Sanna
  • Maria Francesca Manchinu
  • Maria Serafina Ristaldi


The adult bone marrow contains a subset of non-haematopoietic cells referred to as bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have attracted immense research interest in the field of regenerative medicine due to their ability to be cultured for successive passages and multi-lineage differentiation. The molecular mechanisms governing the self-renewal and differentiation of MSCs remain largely unknown. In a previous paper we demonstrated the ability to induce human clonal MSCs to differentiate into cells with a neuronal phenotype (DMSCs). In the present study we evaluated gene expression profiles by Sequential Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE) and microRNA expression profiles before and after the neuronal differentiation process. Various tissue-specific genes were weakly expressed in MSCs, including those of non-mesodermal origin, suggesting multiple potential tissue-specific differentiation, as well as stemness markers. Expression of OCT4, KLF4 and c-Myc cell reprogramming factors, which are modulated during the differentiation process, was also observed. Many peculiar nervous tissue genes were expressed at a high level in DMSCs, along with genes related to apoptosis. MicroRNA profiling and correlation with mRNA expression profiles allowed us to identify putative important genes and microRNAs involved in the differentiation of MSCs into neuronal-like cells. The profound difference in gene and microRNA expression patterns between MSCs and DMSCs indicates a real functional change during differentiation from MSCs to DMSCs.


Mesenchymal stem cells Differentiation SAGE RNA expression profile 

Supplementary material

11033_2011_1180_MOESM1_ESM.doc (4.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 4299 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca Crobu
    • 1
  • Veronica Latini
    • 1
  • Maria Franca Marongiu
    • 1
  • Valeria Sogos
    • 2
  • Franca Scintu
    • 2
  • Susanna Porcu
    • 1
  • Carla Casu
    • 1
  • Manuela Badiali
    • 3
  • Adele Sanna
    • 3
  • Maria Francesca Manchinu
    • 1
  • Maria Serafina Ristaldi
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di Ricerca Genetica e Biomedica (IRGB), del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Cittadella Universitaria di CagliariMonserratoItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Citomorfologia, Facoltà di MedicinaUniversità di CagliariMonserratoItaly
  3. 3.Ospedale Regionale per le MicrocitemieCagliariItaly

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