Potential role of N-benzylcinnamide in inducing neuronal differentiation from human amniotic fluid mesenchymal stem cells

Wipawan Thangnipon, Nicha Puangmalai, Nirut Suwanna, Rungtip Soi-ampornkul, Ruchee Phonchai, Naiphinich Kotchabhakdi, Sujira Mukda, Tatsanee Phermthai, Suphakde Julavijitphong, Patoomratana Tuchinda, Saksit Nobsathian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by chronic and progressive loss of neurons in structure and function related to aging, such as Alzheimer's disease, the latter characterized by the degeneration of cholinergic neurons in basal forebrain connected to the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Amniotic fluid mesenchymal stem cells (AF-MSCs) have been proposed as one of the candidates for stem cell therapy of nervous system disorders. This study demonstrates that incubation of AF-MSCs, obtained from 16 to 20 week pregnant women, with 10 ng/ml bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-9 for 48 h in conditioned medium resulted in transdifferentiation to cholinergic neuronal-like cells. This phenomenon could also be obtained with N-benzylcinnamide (PT-3). Pre-treatment for 1 h with 10 nM PT-3 augmented BMP-9 transdifferentiation effect, elevated βIII-tubulin cell numbers and fluorescence intensity of immunoreactive ChAT, ameliorated BMP-9-related production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced anti-apoptosis status of the neuronal-like cells. The transdiffirentiation process was accompanied by increased p53 but decreased Notch1 and SIRT1 (p53 deacetylase) levels, and activation of p38, ERK1/2 MAPK, and PI3K/Akt pathways, in concert with inactivation of JNK, all of which were accentuated by PT-3 pre-treatment. These findings suggest that N-benzylcinnamide may provide a useful adjuvant in BMP-9-induced transdifferentiation of AFMSCs into ultimately cholinergic neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroscience Letters
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Antioxidant
  • Cholinergic neuron
  • Differentiation
  • Mechanism
  • N-Benzylcinnamide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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