The secretome of stem cells isolated from the adipose tissue and Wharton jelly acts differently on central nervous system derived cell populations

Stem Cell Res Ther. 2012 May 2;3(3):18. doi: 10.1186/scrt109.


Introduction: It is hypothesized that administration of stromal/stem cells isolated from the adipose tissue (ASCs) and umbilical cord (HUCPVCs) can ameliorate the injured central nervous system (CNS). It is still not clear, however, whether they have similar or opposite effects on primary cultures of neuronal populations. The objective of the present work was to determine if ASCs and HUCPVCs preferentially act, or not, on specific cell populations within the CNS.

Methods: Primary cultures of hippocampal neurons were exposed to ASCs and HUCPVCs conditioned media (CM) (obtained 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours after three days of culture) for one week.

Results: Cell viability experiments (MTS (3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2(4-sulfophenyl)-2H tetrazolium) test) revealed that CM obtained from both cell populations at all time points did not cause any deleterious effects on neuronal cells. In fact, it was determined that whenever the ASCs CM were supplemented with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and B27, there was a significant increase in the metabolic viability and neuronal cell density of the cultures. On the other hand, in the absence of CM supplementation, it was the HUCPVCs secretome that had the highest impact on the metabolic viability and cell density. In an attempt to unveil which factors could be involved in the observed effects, a screening for the presence of bFGF, nerve growth factor (NGF), stem cell factor (SCF), hepatocyte growth factors (HGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the CM was performed. Results revealed the presence of all these factors in ASCs CM, except bFGF; in contrast, in HUCPVCs CM it was only possible to detect robust NGF expression.

Conclusions: Overall, the results confirm important differences on the secretome of ASCs and HUCPVCs, which lead to distinct effects on the metabolic viability and neuronal cell densities in primary cultures of hippocampal neurons; however, the factor(s) that promote the stronger effect of the HUCPVCs CM in neuronal survival is(are) still to be identified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / metabolism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / pharmacology
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Nerve Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Stem Cell Factor / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Tetrazolium Salts / chemistry
  • Thiazoles / chemistry
  • Time Factors
  • Umbilical Cord / cytology
  • Umbilical Cord / metabolism*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • NGF protein, human
  • Stem Cell Factor
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Thiazoles
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium
  • Nerve Growth Factor