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Astragaloside IV improves melanocyte differentiation from mouse bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells


Department of Dermatology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200080, China.

* Corresponding Author: Weimin Shi,

BIOCELL 2021, 45(6), 1551-1559.


Vitiligo results in an autoimmune disorder destructing skin pigment cells, melanocytes (Mcs). This study aimed to investigate whether Astragaloside IV (AIV) could efficiently induce differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) into Mcs. BMMSCs were induced and differentiated into Mcs with 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 mg/L AIV during 150-day. Morphologic changes of differentiated cells were observed. Levels of some melanocytic specific genes (TRP-1, TRP-2, MART-1, Mitf) were measured with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) at 90, 120, and 150 days of induction. After 90-day induction, the differentiated cells with 0.4 mg/L AIV demonstrated the typical morphology of Mcs, positive 3,4 dihydroxyphenylalanine staining, and positive staining of TRP-1, TRP-2, MART-1, and Mitf. After 90- and 120- days’ induction with 0.4 mg/L AIV, TRP-1 expression was significantly elevated (p < 0.01), and TRP-2 expression was significantly increased in 0.4 mg/L AIV-treated group compared to negative control (p < 0.01), 0.1 mg/L (p < 0.01), and 0.2 mg/L (p < 0.01) AIV-treated groups. Moreover, MART-1 expression was significantly up-regulated in 0.4 mg/L AIV-treated group compared to negative control, but without difference compared to 0.1 mg/L (p > 0.05) and 0.2 mg/L (p > 0.05) AIV-treated groups. During 90 to 150- day induction, there were no significant differences for Mitf levels between AIV-treated groups and negative control (p > 0.05). In conclusion, 90-day induction with 0.4 mg/L AIV up-regulated TRP-1, TRP-2, and MART-1 expression, indicating that AIV can efficiently induce Mcs differentiation from BMMSCs. These results provide experimental and theoretic evidence for AIV application in clinical vitiligo repigmentation treatment.


Cite This Article

MEI, X., WU, Z., ZHANG, C., SUN, Y., SHI, W. (2021). Astragaloside IV improves melanocyte differentiation from mouse bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. BIOCELL, 45(6), 1551–1559.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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