Inductors of myogenic stem cell differentiation attract attention, as they can be used to treat myodystrophies and post-traumatic injuries. Functionalization of fullerenes makes it possible to obtain water-soluble derivatives with targeted biochemical activity. This study examined the effects of the phosphonate C60 fullerene derivatives on the expression of myogenic transcription factors and myogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Uptake of the phosphonate C60 fullerene derivatives in human MSCs, intracellular ROS visualization, superoxide scavenging potential, and the expression of myogenic, adipogenic, and osteogenic differentiation genes were studied. The prolonged MSC incubation (within 7–14 days) with the C60 pentaphoshonate potassium salt promoted their differentiation towards the myogenic lineage. The transcription factors and gene expressions determining myogenic differentiation (MYOD1, MYOG, MYF5, and MRF4) increased, while the expression of osteogenic differentiation factors (BMP2, BMP4, RUNX2, SPP1, and OCN) and adipogenic differentiation factors (CEBPB, LPL, and AP2 (FABP4)) was reduced or did not change. The stimulation of autophagy may be one of the factors contributing to the increased expression of myogenic differentiation genes in MSCs. Autophagy may be caused by intracellular alkalosis and/or short-term intracellular oxidative stress.
- Fullerene phosphonate derivatives
- Mesenchymal stem cells
- Myogenic differentiation
- Reactive oxygen species