Muscarinic receptors modulate Nerve Growth Factor production in rat Schwann-like adipose-derived stem cells and in Schwann cells

Roberta Piovesana, Alessandro Faroni, M. Taggi, A. Matera, M. Soligo, R. Canipari, L. Manni, Adam Reid, A. M. Tata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Regenerative capability of the peripheral nervous system after injury is enhanced by Schwann cells (SCs) producing several growth factors. The clinical use of SCs in nerve regeneration strategies is hindered by the necessity of removing a healthy nerve to obtain the therapeutic cells. Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) can be chemically differentiated towards a SC-like phenotype (dASCs), and represent a promising alternative to SCs. Their physiology can be further modulated pharmacologically by targeting receptors for neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine (ACh).

In this study, we compare the ability of rat dASCs and native SC to produce NGF in vitro. We also evaluate the ability of muscarinic receptors, in particular the M2 subtype, to modulate NGF production and maturation from the precursor (proNGF) to the mature (mNGF) form.

For the first time, we demonstrate that dASCs produce higher basal levels of proNGF and mature NGF compared to SCs. Moreover, muscarinic receptor activation, and in particular M2 subtype stimulation, modulates NGF production and maturation in both SCs and dASCs. Indeed, both cell types express both proNGF A and B isoforms, as well as mNGF. After M2 receptor stimulation, proNGF-B (25kDa), which is involved in apoptotic processes, is strongly reduced at transcript and protein level.

Thus, we demonstrate that dASCs possess a stronger neurotrophic potential compared to SCs. Furthermore, that ACh, via M2 muscarinic receptors, contributes to the modulation and maturation of NGF, improving the regenerative properties of dASCs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2020

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