Human endothelial circulating progenitor cells (CPCs) can differentiate to cardioinyogenic cells during co-culture with neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. Wnt proteins induce myogenic specification and cardiac myogenesis. Here, we elucidated the effect of Wnts on differentiation of CPCs to cardiomyogenic cells. CPCs from peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from healthy volunteers and co-cultured with neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. 6-10 days after co-culture, cardiac differentiation was determined by α-sarcomeric actinin staining of human lymphocyte antigen-positive cells (fluorescence-activated cell-sorting analysis) and mRNA expression of human myosin heavy chain and atrial natriuretic peptide. Supplementation of co-cultures with Wnt11-conditioned medium significantly enhanced the differentiation of CPCs to cardiomyocytes (1.7 ± 0.3-fold), whereas Wnt3A-conditioned medium showed no effect. Cell fusion was not affected by Wnt11-conditioned medium. Because Wnts inhibit glycogen synthase kinase-3β, we further determined whether the glycogen synthase kinase-3β inhibitor LiC1 also enhanced cardiac differentiation of CPCs. However, LiCl (10 mM) did not affect CPC differentiation. In contrast, Wnt11-conditioned medium time-dependently activated protein kinase C (PKC). Moreover, the PKC inhibitors bisindolylmaleimide I and III significantly blocked differentiation of CPCs to cardiomyocytes. PKC activation by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate significantly increased CPC differentiation to a similar extent as compared with Wnt11-conditioned medium. Our data demonstrate that Wnt11, but not Wnt3A, augments cardiomyogenic differentiation of human CPCs. Wnt11 promotes cardiac differentiation via the non-canonical PKC-dependent signaling pathway.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology