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  • Author or Editor: Rei Nakano x
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Objective—To investigate the in vitro differentiation of canine bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) into functional, mature neurons.

Sample—Bone marrow from 6 adult dogs.

Procedures—BMSCs were isolated from bone marrow and chemically induced to develop into neurons. The morphology of the BMSCs during neuronal induction was monitored, and immunocytochemical analyses for neuron markers were performed after the induction. Real-time PCR methods were used to evaluate the mRNA expression levels of markers for neural stem or progenitor cells, neurons, and ion channels, and western blotting was used to assess the expression of neuronal proteins before and after neuronal induction. The electrophysiological properties of the neuron-like cells induced from canine BMSCs were evaluated with fluorescent dye to monitor Ca2+ influx.

Results—Canine BMSCs developed a neuron-like morphology after neuronal induction. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that these neuron-like cells were positive for neuron markers. After induction, the cells’ mRNA expression levels of almost all neuron and ion channel markers increased, and the protein expression levels of nestin and neurofilament-L increased significantly. However, the neuron-like cells derived from canine BMSCs did not have the Ca2+ influx characteristic of spiking neurons.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although canine BMSCs had neuron-like morphological and biochemical properties after induction, they did not develop the electrophysiological characteristics of neurons. Thus, these results have suggested that canine BMSCs could have the capacity to differentiate into a neuronal lineage, but the differentiation protocol used may have been insufficient to induce development into functional neurons.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research