Myelin-forming ability of Schwann cell-like cells induced from rat adipose-derived stem cells in vitro

Yongfeng Xu, Lan Liu, Yong Li, Chang Zhou, Fu Xiong, Zhengshan Liu, Ran Gu, Xiaomei Hou, Cheng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Although Schwann cell (SC) transplantation can enhance peripheral and central nerve repair experimentally, it is difficult to generate sufficient SC quickly for clinical application. So alternative cell systems for SC are desired. SC-like cells induced from adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC) may be one of the ideal alternative cell systems for SC. However, myelin-forming ability, which is the most important characteristics and function of SC, has not been investigated in SC-like cells from ADSC up to now. In this experiment, ADSC were harvested from rat inguinal fat pad. Rat ADSC were fibroblast-like in shape, almost all the cells expressed mesodermal marker fibronectin, and only few cells expressed neural stem cell marker nestin. A mixture of glial growth factors (Heregulin, bFGF, PDGF and forskolin) could induce rat ADSC into SC-like cells. SC-like cells were spindle-like in shape and expressed glial markers GFAP and S100, similar to genuine SC. When intracellular cAMP was increased, SC-like cells could express myelin protein p0. More importantly, when co-cultured with rat pheochromocytoma cell line (PC12 cells), SC-like cells could induce the differentiation of PC12 cells rapidly and form myelin structures with PC12 cells in vitro. Our data further demonstrated that SC-like cells from ADSC were able to form myelins and these cells may benefit the treatment of peripheral and central nerve injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Nov 6 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Adipose-derived stem cell
  • Myelin
  • Schwann cell

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