Effects of WNT3A and WNT16 on the Osteogenic and Adipogenic Differentiation of Perivascular Stem/Stromal Cells

Jia Shen, Xuepeng Chen, Haichao Jia, Carolyn A. Meyers, Swati Shrestha, Greg Asatrian, Catherine Ding, Rebecca Tsuei, Xinli Zhang, Bruno Peault, Kang Ting, Chia Soo, Aaron W. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Human perivascular stem/stromal cells (hPSC) are a multipotent mesenchymogenic stromal cell population defined by their perivascular locale. Recent studies have demonstrated the high potential for clinical translation of this fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)-derived cell population for autologous bone tissue engineering. However, the mechanisms underlying the osteogenic differentiation of PSC are incompletely understood. The current study investigates the roles of canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling in the osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of PSC. Results showed that both canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling activity transiently increased during PSC osteogenic differentiation in vitro. Sustained WNT3A treatment significantly decreased PSC osteogenic differentiation. Conversely, sustained treatment with Wnt family member 16 (WNT16), a mixed canonical and noncanonical ligand, increased osteogenic differentiation in a c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway-dependent manner. Conversely, WNT16 knockdown significantly diminished PSC osteogenic differentiation. Finally, WNT16 but not WNT3A increased the adipogenic differentiation of PSC. These results indicate the importance of regulation of canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling for PSC fate and differentiation. Moreover, these data suggest that WNT16 plays a functional and necessary role in PSC osteogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-80
Number of pages13
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • DKK1
  • PSC
  • Perivascular stem cell
  • WNT16
  • WNT3A
  • Wnt signaling
  • osteogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of WNT3A and WNT16 on the Osteogenic and Adipogenic Differentiation of Perivascular Stem/Stromal Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this