Mesenchymal stem cells from preterm to term newborns undergo a significant switch from anaerobic glycolysis to the oxidative phosphorylation
We evaluated the energy metabolism of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) isolated from umbilical cord (UC) of preterm (< 37 weeks of gestational age) and term (≥ 37 weeks of gestational age) newborns, using MSC from adult bone marrow as control. A metabolic switch has been observed around the 34th week of gestational age from a prevalently anaerobic glycolysis to the oxidative phosphorylation. This metabolic change is associated with the organization of mitochondria reticulum: preterm MSCs presented a scarcely organized mitochondrial reticulum and low expression of proteins involved in the mitochondrial fission/fusion, compared to term MSCs. These changes seem governed by the expression of CLUH, a cytosolic messenger RNA-binding protein involved in the mitochondria biogenesis and distribution inside the cell; in fact, CLUH silencing in term MSC determined a metabolic fingerprint similar to that of preterm MSC. Our study discloses novel information on the production of energy and mitochondrial organization and function, during the passage from fetal to adult life, providing useful information for the management of preterm birth.
KeywordsCLUH Endothelial cells Energy metabolism Mesenchymal stem cells OXPHOS Preterm newborns Term newborns
This work was supported by funds from Cinque per mille e Ricerca Corrente, Ministero della Salute, to Istituto Giannina Gaslini; a Compagnia di San Paolo Grant (2014AAI637.U/812/AR pv 2013.0958 to F.F) and a Grant FIRB (2012# RBFR1299K0_002 to C.F.). The authors are indebted to Dr. Federica Raggi for providing the hypoxia incubator.
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