Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Medical Basic Sciences Research Institute, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran



Background: Researchers are looking for a way to improve the myogenic differentiation of stem cells. Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs), known for their multipotency and regenerative capabilities, have been extensively studied for their therapeutic potential. Meanwhile, PC12 cells, derived from rat pheochromocytoma, have been found pivotal in neuroscience research, particularly as a neuronal model system. The current study investigated the effect of the PC12 adrenal pheochromocytoma cell line on the myogenic differentiation of ADSCs. 
Methods: This experimental study was conducted during 2019-2022 (Ahvaz, Iran). Differentiation of ADSCs was induced by using 3 μg/mL 5-azacytidine for 24 hours. Then, the culture media was changed with Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle-High Glucose (DMEM-HG) containing 5% horse serum (HS) and kept for 7 days. Different percentages of differentiated ADSCs and PC12 (100:0, 70:30, 50:50, 30:70) were cocultured for 7 days in DMEM-HG containing 5% HS. PC12 was labeled with cell tracker C7000. The real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting techniques were utilized to assess gene and protein expression. All experiments were repeated three times. Data were analyzed using GraphPad Prism 8.0.2 software with a one-way analysis of variance. P<0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: PC12 visualization confirmed the accuracy of the co-culture process. The differentiated cells showed an aligned, multinucleated shape. The differentiated ADSCs revealed significantly elevated levels of Myh1, Myh2, and Chrn-α1 gene expression compared with undifferentiated ADSCs (P<0.0001). The ADSCs cocultured with PC12 cells showed significantly higher Myh1, Myh2, and Chrn-α1 gene expression than differentiated ADSCs (P<0.001). ADSCs cocultured with 50% PC12 revealed significantly higher MYH and nAchR protein expression than the differentiated group (P<0.01 and P<0.001). 
Conclusion: Coculturing PC12 cells and ADSCs improves the efficiency of myogenic differentiation. However, the effectiveness of myogenic differentiation depends on the proportions of administered PC12 cells.


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