1. Department of Orthopedics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai 200233, China;
2. Department of Dermatology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China;
3. Graduate School of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi 330031, China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.
The vascularization of tissue-engineered bone is a prerequisite step for the successful repair of bone defects. Hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) plays an essential role in angiogenesis-osteogenesis coupling during bone regeneration and can activate the expression of angiogenic factors in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Dimethyloxaloylglycine (DMOG) is an angiogenic small molecule that can inhibit prolyl hydroxylase (PHD) enzymes and thus regulate the stability of HIF-1α in cells at normal oxygen tension. Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived MSCs (hiPSC-MSCs) are promising alternatives for stem cell therapy. In this study, we evaluated the effect of DMOG on promoting hiPSC-MSCs angiogenesis in tissue-engineered bone and simultaneously explored the underlying mechanisms in vitro. The effectiveness of DMOG in improving the expression of HIF-1α and its downstream angiogenic genes in hiPSC-MSCs demonstrated that DMOG significantly enhanced the gene and protein expression profiles of angiogenic-related factors in hiPSC-MSCs by sustaining the expression of HIF-1α. Further analysis showed that DMOG-stimulated hiPSC-MSCs angiogenesis was associated with the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt) and with an increase in VEGF production. The effects could be blocked by the addition of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002. In a critical-sized calvarial defect model in rats, DMOG-treated hiPSC-MSCs showed markedly improved angiogenic capacity in the tissue-engineered bone, leading to bone regeneration. Collectively, the results indicate that DMOG, via activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway, promotes the angiogenesis of hiPSC-MSCs in tissue-engineered bone for bone defect repair and that DMOG-treated hiPSC-MSCs can be exploited as a potential therapeutic tool in bone regeneration.
Keywords: Dimethyloxaloylglycine, Angiogenic activity, Induced pluripotent stem cells, PI3K/Akt, Bone regeneration.