The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 67: 101 - 108 (2023)

Vol 67, Issue 3

Valproic acid effects on human adipose-derived stem cell differentiation into oligodendrocytes and improved remyelination in a mouse model of Multiple Sclerosis

Original Article | Published: 31 October 2023

Sahar Ghosouri1, Mohammad Bakhtiari2, Soleimani Mitra1, Nazem Ghasemi*,1

1Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran, 2Behbahan Faculty of Medical Sciences, Behbahan, Iran


Valproic acid (VPA), a neuroprotective agent and inhibitor of GSK3-β, along with human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells (hADSCs) have been proposed to be potential therapeutic agents for neurodegenerative disorders. In the present study, we have assessed the effects of VPA alone or in combination with hADSCs on oligodendrocyte differentiation, remyelination, and functional recovery in a mouse model of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). These MS-model mice were randomly divided into cuprizone, sham, VPA, hADSC, and VPA/hADSC groups, with 10 mice considered a control group (healthy mice). The hanging wire test was used to measure motor behavior. To estimate the level of myelination, we performed toluidine blue staining and immunofluorescent staining for OLIG2 and MOG-positive cells. Real-time PCR was used to evaluate the expression of β-catenin, human and mouse Mbp, Mog, and Olig2 genes. Remyelination and motor function improved in mice receiving VPA, hADSCs, and especially VPA/hADSCs compared to the Cup and Sham groups (P < 0.01). Additionally, the number of MOG and OLIG2 positive cells significantly increased in the VPA/hADSCs group compared to the Cup and Sham groups (P < 0.01). The expression of β-catenin, myelin and the other oligodendrocyte-specific genes was significantly higher in the VPA recipient groups. Valproic acid can enhance the differentiation of stem cells into oligodendrocytes, making it a potential candidate for MS treatment.


Multiple Sclerosis, valproic acid, human adipose-derived stem cell, neuroprotective agent, remyelination

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