In this study, researchers from different universities in South Korea investigated the proliferative effects of apple ethanol extract on two types of mesenchymal stem cells and identified the possible molecular mechanisms underlying these effects. The results of their study were published in the journal Nutrition Research.
Adult stem cells (ASCs) are commonly used for tissue regeneration. This process has significant potential as a novel treatment for many degenerative diseases.
According to previous studies, age has a negative effect on the proliferation and differentiation of ASCs, and this could potentially limit the cells' therapeutic use.
The researchers hypothesized that apple ethanol extract might exert beneficial effects on ASCs.
To test their hypothesis, they examined the proliferative effects of apple ethanol extract on human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) and human cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (CB-MSCs).
The researchers reported that the apple extract promoted the proliferation of both types of cells.
The apple extract also induced the phosphorylation of the following in ADSCs in a stepwise manner:
p44/42 MAPK (ERK)
Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)
p70 S6 kinase (p70S6K)
S6 ribosomal protein (S6RP)
Eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4B
On the other hand, pretreatment with PD98059, a specific ERK inhibitor, blocked the apple extract-induced phosphorylation of the said pathways.
The apple extract also significantly induced the production of vascular endothelial growth factor and interleukin-6 in both ADSCs and CB-MSCs.
Lee J, Shin MS, Kim MO, Jang S, Oh SW, Kang M, Jung K, Park YS, Lee J. APPLE ETHANOL EXTRACT PROMOTES PROLIFERATION OF HUMAN ADULT STEM CELLS, WHICH INVOLVES THE REGENERATIVE POTENTIAL OF STEM CELLS. Nutrition Research. 2016;36(9):925–936. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2016.06.010