Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 380, Issue 1–2, pp 267–275 | Cite as

CX43 change in LPS preconditioning against apoptosis of mesenchymal stem cells induced by hypoxia and serum deprivation is associated with ERK signaling pathway

  • Jun Wang
  • Zhi Li
  • Yangyang Zhang
  • Xiang Liu
  • Liang Chen
  • Yijiang ChenEmail author


This study was designed to investigate the effect and mechanism of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) preconditioning on survival and connexin 43 (CX43) expression in rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (bMSCs) under hypoxia and serum deprivation (Hypoxia/SD) conditions. Whole marrow cells were obtained from the femora and tibiae of SD rats, and bMSCs were isolated by density gradient centrifugation and attachment culture. Surface antigens were determined by FACS before the experiment using antibodies conjugated directly against anti-rat CD34, anti-CD45, anti-CD29, and anti-CD44. Passage 3 bMSCs were used for all experiments. The effect of LPS preconditioning on bMSCs apoptosis in response to Hypoxia/SD was investigated by an Annexin V-FITC/PI binding assay and a mitochondrial membrane potential (△Ψm) assay. Cyc-c released into the cytosol from mitochondria and CX43 in bMSCs was determined by Western blot before and after LPS preconditioning. Subsequently, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was inhibited with PD98059 to analyze the role of ERK in modulating CX43 expression after LPS preconditioning. The bMSCs surface antigen profiles obtained by flow cytometry were positive for CD29 and CD44 and negative for CD34 and CD45. The Hypoxia/SD conditions induced significant apoptosis of bMSCs. Compared with the Hypoxia/SD group, cells treated with LPS prevented △Ψm from falling significantly. LPS inhibited Hypoxia/SD-induced Cyc-c release. These results were consistent with the total analysis of apoptosis of MSCs. Compared with the control group, the level of CX43 expression in the Hypoxia/SD group and LPS + Hypoxia/SD group decreased significantly at each time point. The level of CX43 expression in the Hypoxia/SD group was lower than that in the LPS + Hypoxia/SD group, while the difference was not significant between the PD98059 + LPS + Hypoxia/SD group and the PD98059 + Hypoxia/SD group (P > 0.05). Compared with the LPS + Hypoxia/SD group, CX43 level in the PD98059 + LPS + Hypoxia/SD group and PD98059 + Hypoxia/SD group decreased significantly (P < 0.05). These results demonstrated that Hypoxia/SD conditions could induce apoptosis of bMSCs markedly. Low-dose LPS preconditioning may preserve the mitochondrial function by maintaining the mitochondrial transmembrane potential and inhibiting Cyc-c release in Hypoxia/SD-induced bMSCs apoptosis. LPS preconditioning also had a stabilizing effect on the cell membrane by inhibiting the decrease of CX43, and this modulating mechanism may be related to the ERK signaling pathway.


Marrow stem cells Lipopolysaccharide Preconditioning Apoptosis Connexin Hypoxia 



The authors thank all the individuals who voluntarily participated in the study and Prof. Xueying Xie (the Research Center of Learning Science, Southeast University, Nanjing, China) for her insightful suggestions on the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun Wang
    • 1
  • Zhi Li
    • 1
  • Yangyang Zhang
    • 1
  • Xiang Liu
    • 1
  • Liang Chen
    • 1
  • Yijiang Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular SurgeryJiangsu Province People’s Hospital and the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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