Indexed on: 12 Oct '10Published on: 12 Oct '10Published in: Nitric Oxide
Bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) express cardiac markers in vitro and in vivo upon induction. Cardiomyogenic differentiation of embryonic stem cells induced by oxytocin (OT) involves the nitric oxide (NO)-soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) pathway. Also, OT improved cardiomyogenic differentiation of porcine BMSCs (pBMSCs). Here, we document the role of NO pathway in OT-mediated cardiomyogenic differentiation of pBMSCs obtained from bone marrow aspirates of juvenile pigs. Cells were exposed (OT cells) or not (control cells) to OT, in presence or absence of a NO synthase inhibitor (L-NAME) and a sGC inhibitor (ODQ). Gene (RT-PCR) and protein expression (immunocytochemistry) of NOS was up-regulated after OT induction. Exposure of OT cells to L-NAME, ODQ, or both, leaded to a significant reduction in cardiac troponin I transcripts, and protein (Western Blot) expression. For the latter, ODQ looked more performing in inhibition than L-NAME. Expression of cardiac troponin T and myosin heavy chain (immunocytochemistry) was less abundant in OT cells exposed to inhibitors without apparent synergic effect between L-NAME and ODQ. In control cells, protein expression remained low. Moreover, OT-induced cell proliferation, and this effect was counteracted by NOS/sGC inhibitors. Inhibiting NO production and NO effector, sGC, affected the OT-mediated differentiation of pBMSCs, because abundance of cardiac proteins was reduced to levels similar to those observed in control cells. We propose that following treatment with OT, activation of NO pathway directs pBMSCs to a preferential cardiomyogenic phenotype and stimulates cell proliferation.