Human perivascular stem/stromal cells (hPSC) are a multipotent mesenchymogenic stromal cell population defined by their perivascular locale. Recent studies have demonstrated the high potential for clinical translation of this fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) derived cell population for autologous bone tissue engineering. However, the mechanisms underlying the osteogenic differentiation of PSC are incompletely understood. The current study investigates the roles of canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling in the osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of PSC. Results showed that both canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling activity transiently increased during PSC osteogenic differentiation in vitro. Sustained WNT3A treatment significantly decreased PSC osteogenic differentiation. Conversely, sustained treatment with Wnt family member 16 (WNT16), a mixed canonical and noncanonical ligand, increased osteogenic differentiation in a c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway dependent fashion. Conversely, WNT16 knockdown significantly diminished PSC osteogenic differentiation. Finally, WNT16 but not WNT3A increased the adipogenic differentiation of PSC. These results indicate the importance of regulation of canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling for PSC cell fate and differentiation. Moreover, these data suggest that WNT16 plays a functional and necessary role in PSC osteogenesis.
- Journal Article