Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are capable of self-renewal and differentiation and are thus a valuable source for the replacement of diseased or damaged organs. Previously, we reported that the tonsils can be an excellent reservoir of MSCs for the regeneration of skeletal muscle (SKM) damage. However, the mechanisms involved in the differentiation from tonsil-derived MSCs (T-MSCs) to myocytes via myoblasts remain unclear. To clarify these mechanisms, we analyzed gene expression profiles of T-MSCs during differentiation into myocytes compared with human skeletal muscle cells (hSKMCs). Total RNA was extracted from T-MSCs, T-MSC-derived myoblasts and myocytes, and hSKMCs and was subjected to analysis using a microarray. Microarray analysis of the three phases of myogenic differentiation identified candidate genes associated with myogenic differentiation. The expression pattern of undifferentiated T-MSCs was distinguishable from the myogenic differentiated T-MSCs and hSKMCs. In particular, we selected FNBP1L, which among the upregulated genes is essential for antibacterial autophagy, since autophagy is related to SKM metabolism and myogenesis. T-MSCs differentiated toward myoblasts and skeletal myocytes sequentially, as evidenced by increased expression of autophagy-related markers (including Beclin-1, LC3B and Atg5) and decreased expression of Bcl-2. Furthermore, we reconfirmed that autophagy has an effect on the mechanism of skeletal myogenic differentiation derived from T-MSCs by treatment with 5-azacytidine and bafilomycin A1. These data suggest that the transcriptome of the T-MSC-derived myocytes is similar to that of hSKMCs, and that autophagy has an important role in the mechanism of myogenic differentiation of T-MSCs.
- Human tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells
- Skeletal myocyte