Low-level shear stress induces human mesenchymal stem cell migration through the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis via MAPK signaling pathways

Lin Yuan, Naoya Sakamoto, Guanbin Song, Masaaki Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are able to home and migrate into damaged tissues and are thus, considered an optimal therapeutic strategy for clinical use. We previously demonstrated that higher shear stress (>2 Pa) hindered human MSC (hMSC) migration, whereas lower shear stress (0.2 Pa) induced cell migration through mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. Here the mechanisms underlying shear stress-induced hMSC migration have been studied further. An MSC monolayer was mechanically wounded and subsequently exposed to low-level shear stress of 0.2 Pa. Image analysis was performed to quantify cell migration speeds under both flow and static conditions. hMSCs along both upstream- and downstream edges of the wound migrated at a similar speed to cover the wounded area under static conditions, whereas shear stress induced cells along the downstream edge of the wound to migrate significantly faster than those along the upstream edge. We also found that shear stress upregulated the secretion of stromal-derived factor-1 (SDF-1), which stimulated its receptor CXCR4 expression in hMSCs until the cells covered the wounded area. A CXCR4 antagonist repressed both cell migration and activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 MAPK but did not affect extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation. When MAPK activation in upstream- and downstream hMSCs was evaluated separately, ERK1/2 was activated earlier in downstream than in upstream cells. These results indicate that the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis mediates shear stress-induced hMSC migration through JNK and p38 MAPK pathways and that the difference in migration speeds between upstream- and downstream cells may be due to ERK1/2 activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2384-2393
Number of pages10
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Low-level shear stress induces human mesenchymal stem cell migration through the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis via MAPK signaling pathways'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this