Role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the regulation of adipogenic differentiation of human maxillary/mandibular bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells

Mol Biol Rep. 2023 Jul;50(7):5733-5745. doi: 10.1007/s11033-023-08528-9. Epub 2023 May 22.


Background: Maxillary/mandibular bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MBMSCs) exhibit a unique property of lower adipogenic potential than other bone marrow-derived MSCs. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating the adipogenesis of MBMSCs remain unclear. This study aimed to explore the roles of mitochondrial function and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in regulating the adipogenesis of MBMSCs.

Methods and results: MBMSCs exhibited significantly lower lipid droplet formation than iliac BMSCs (IBMSCs). Moreover, the expression levels of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ), C/EBPδ, and early B cell factor 1 (Ebf-1), which are early adipogenic transcription factors, and those of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) and C/EBPα, which are late adipogenic transcription factors, were downregulated in MBMSCs compared to those in IBMSCs. Adipogenic induction increased the mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial biogenesis in MBMSCs and IBMSCs, with no significant difference between the two cell types; however, intracellular ROS production was significantly enhanced only in IBMSCs. Furthermore, NAD(P)H oxidase 4 (NOX4) expression was significantly lower in MBMSCs than in IBMSCs. Increased ROS production in MBMSCs by NOX4 overexpression or treatment with menadione promoted the expression of early adipogenic transcription factors but did not induce that of late adipogenic transcription factors or lipid droplet accumulation.

Conclusions: These results suggest that ROS may be partially involved in the process of MBMSC adipogenic differentiation from undifferentiated cells to immature adipocytes. This study provides important insights into the tissue-specific properties of MBMSCs.

Keywords: Adipogenic differentiation; Iliac bone; Maxillary/mandibular bone; Mesenchymal stem cells; Reactive oxygen species.

MeSH terms

  • Adipogenesis* / physiology
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • PPAR gamma / genetics
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • PPAR gamma