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Enhanced Differentiation of Stromal Cells and Embryonic Stem Cells with Vitamin D3

Authors: Mayada Alqaisi, Nasser Al-Shanti, Quiyu Wang, William S. Gilmore


In-vitro mouse co-culture of E14 embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and OP9 stromal cells can recapitulate the earliest stages of haematopoietic development, not accessible in human embryos, supporting both haemogenic precursors and their primitive haematopoietic progeny. 1α, 25-Dihydroxy-vitamin D3 (VD3) has been demonstrated to be a powerful differentiation inducer for a wide variety of neoplastic cells, and could enhance early differentiation of ESCs into blood cells in E14/OP9 co-culture. This study aims to ascertain whether VD3 is key in promoting differentiation and suppressing proliferation, by separately investigating the effects of VD3 on the proliferation phase of the E14 cell line and on stromal OP9 cells.The results showed that VD3 inhibited the proliferation of the cells in a dose-dependent manner, quantitatively by decreased cell number, and qualitatively by alkaline-phosphatase staining that revealed significant differences between VD3-treated and untreated cells, characterised by decreased enzyme expression (colourless cells). Propidium-iodide cell-cycle analyses showed no significant percentage change in VD3-treated E14 and OP9 cells within their G and S-phases, compared to the untreated controls, despite the increased percentage of G-phase compared to the S-phase in a dosedependent manner. These results with E14 and OP9 cells indicate that adequate VD3 concentration enhances cellular differentiation and inhibits proliferation. The results also suggest that if E14 and OP9 cells were co-cultured andVD3-treated, there would be furtherenhanced differentiation of ESCs into blood cells.

Keywords: Differentiation, Embryonic stem cells, OP9 stromal cells

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