Departmental Papers (Dental)

Document Type

Journal Article

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Publication Source

BioMed Research International



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Article number 3764372




Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) are recognized as candidate progenitor cells for bone regeneration. However, the mechanism of hUCMSC osteogenesis remains unclear. In this study, we revealed that mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) signaling is involved in hUCMSC osteogenic differentiation in vitro. Particularly, the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) and p38 signaling pathways maintained a consistent level in hUCMSCs through the entire 21-day osteogenic differentiation period. At the same time, the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) signaling significantly increased from day 5, peaked at day 9, and declined thereafter. Moreover, gene profiling of osteogenic markers, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity measurement, and alizarin red staining demonstrated that the application of U0126, a specific inhibitor for ERK activation, completely prohibited hUCMSC osteogenic differentiation. However, when U0126 was removed from the culture at day 9, ERK activation and osteogenic differentiation of hUCMSCs were partially recovered. Together, these findings demonstrate that the activation of ERK signaling is essential for hUCMSC osteogenic differentiation, which points out the significance of ERK signaling pathway to regulate the osteogenic differentiation of hUCMSCs as an alternative cell source for bone tissue engineering. Copyright © 2016 Chen-Shuang Li et al.


At the time of publication, author Chenshuang Li was affiliated with the College of Stomatology, Xi'an Jiaotong University. Currently, (s)he is a faculty member at the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.


Bone Regeneration, Cell Differentiation, Humans, JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases, MAP Kinase Signaling System, Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation, Mesenchymal Stromal Cells, Osteogenesis, p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases, Phosphorylation, Tissue Engineering, Umbilical Cord, 1, 4 diamino 1, 4 bis(2 aminophenylthio) 2, 3 dicyanobutadiene, alkaline phosphatase, bone sialoprotein, calcium, collagen type 1, mitogen activated protein kinase, mitogen activated protein kinase p38, osteocalcin, osteopontin, stress activated protein kinase, mitogen activated protein kinase p38, stress activated protein kinase, Article, bone development, bone regeneration, cell differentiation, controlled study, enzyme activation, gene expression, human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell, loss of function mutation, marker gene, mesenchymal stem cell, protein phosphorylation, signal transduction, tissue engineering, umbilical cord, biosynthesis, cell differentiation, cytology, genetics, human, mesenchymal stem cell transplantation, mesenchymal stroma cell, phosphorylation, transplantation



Date Posted: 10 February 2023

This document has been peer reviewed.