The effect of extracellular matrix on the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells

J Cell Biochem. 2020 Jan;121(1):269-283. doi: 10.1002/jcb.29159. Epub 2019 Jun 6.


Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are promising research materials to investigate cell fate determination since they have the capability to differentiate. Stem cell differentiation has been extensively studied with various microenvironment mimicking structures to modify cellular dynamics associated with the cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions and cell-cell communications. In the current study, our aim was to determine the effect of microenvironmental proteins with different concentrations on the capacity and differentiation capability of mouse ESCs (mESCs), combining the biochemical assays, imaging techniques, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and unsupervised multivariate analysis. Based on our data, coating the surface of mESCs with Matrigel, used as an acellular matrix substrate, resulted in morphological and biochemical changes. mESCs exhibited alterations in their phenotype after growing on the Matrigel-coated surfaces, including their differentiation capacity, cell cycle phase pattern, membrane fluidity, and metabolic activities. In conclusion, mESCs can be stimulated physiologically, chemically, or mechanically to convert them a new phenotype. Thus, identification of ESCs' behavior in the acellular microenvironment could be vital to elucidate the mechanism of diseases. It might also be promising to control the cell fate in the field of tissue engineering.

Keywords: FTIR spectroscopy; Matrigel; cell fate; differentiation; mouse embryonic stem cell.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Lineage
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Microscopy, Phase-Contrast
  • Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Phenotype
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Surface Properties
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*