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Human adipose tissue-derived stromal cells (hADSCs) demonstrate promising potential in various clinical applications, including the transplantation to regenerate injured or degenerative tissues. The migration of engrafted hADSCs to the correct site of injure is essential for the curative effect of stem cell therapy. We found that protocatechuic acid (PCA) from Alpinia (A.) oxyphylla could promote the migration capacity of hADSCs through transwell coated with gelatin in vitro. PCA enhanced the cell migration rate in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. Meanwhile, RT-PCR and quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed the elevation of membrane-type matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MT1-MMP) mRNA expression in 1.5 mM PCA-treated hADSCs. In the supernatants of these cells, the active matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) increased compared with control cells with zymography. Moreover, the promotion of cell migration by PCA could be effectively and obviously inhibited by anti-MT1-MMP or anti-MMP-2 antibodies. Furthermore, flow cytometric analysis of the cell surface antigens, osteogenic induction, adipogenic induction and cardiomyocyte-like cell induction demonstrated that hADSCs retained their functional characteristics of multipotential mesenchymal progenitors after PCA treatment. These results suggest that PCA from A. oxyphylla promote the migration of hADSCs in vitro, which is partially due to the increased expression of MT1-MMP and the promotion of MMP-2 zymogen activation.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Pharmacol

Publication Date





24 - 31


Adipose Tissue, Alpinia, Cell Movement, Cells, Cultured, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Flow Cytometry, Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic, Humans, Hydroxybenzoates, Matrix Metalloproteinase 14, Matrix Metalloproteinase 2, RNA, Messenger, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Stromal Cells, Time Factors