Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) are multipotent cells capable of differentiating toward osteoblatic and adipocytic phenotypes. BM-MSCs play several key roles including bone remodeling, establishment of hematopoietic niche and immune tolerance induction. Here, we investigated the effect of resveratrol (RSV), a therapeutically promising natural polyphenol, on the commitment of human BM-MSCs primary cultures. Cell differentiation was evaluated by means of morphological analysis, specific staining and expression of osteogenic and adipocytic master genes (Runx-2, PPARγ). To maintain BM-MSC multipotency, all experiments were performed on cells at very early passages. At any concentration RSV, added to standard medium, did not affect the phenotype of confluent BM-MSCs, while, when added to osteogenic or adipogenic medium, 1 μM RSV enhances the differentiation toward osteoblasts or adipocytes, respectively. Conversely, the addition of higher RSV concentration (25 μM) to both differentiation media resulted exclusively in BM-MSCs adipogenesis. Surprisingly, the analysis of RSV molecular effects demonstrated that the compound completely substitutes insulin, a key component of adipogenic medium. We also observed that RSV treatment is associated to enhanced phosphorylation of CREB, a critical effector of insulin adipogenic activity. Finally, our observations contribute to the mechanistic elucidation of the well-known RSV positive effect on insulin sensitivity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Keywords: Adipogenesis; Insulin; Mesenchymal stromal cells; Resveratrol.
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