AAT Bioquest

GAPDH is critical for superior efficacy of female bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells on pulmonary hypertension

As modern medicine advances, the tools at its disposal to treat the many conditions people face are also getting more advanced. There is perhaps no better example of this than the emergence of stem cell therapies. While they were draped in controversy for some time, stem cells are rapidly gaining traction as an effective and safe way to treat a number of conditions for which a cure still escapes the medical community. One example of this is pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Despite its relatively high occurrence rates, there still does not yet exist an effective treatment despite significant advances towards finding a functional therapy. This is where stem cell therapy steps in and provides a path forward. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), derived from bone marrow, have been shown to be somewhat effective, but also somewhat curiously, there appears to be discrepancies in the functionality according to the gender from which they are extracted. This is not the first time this has been observed, and for stem cell research to continue advancing, this peculiar occurrence needs to be understood, or at the very least, researchers need to be able to distinguish which cells work and which do not.

This was the primary focus of the study conducted by Tan et al. from the Huazhong Science and Technology University in Wuhan, China. MSCs have been known to behave differently when harvested from male and female sources, but Tan's team hoped to uncover some more information as to why this might be happening. To carry out the study, they needed to look at a variety of different things, ranging from the measurement of CA2+ concentration to the levels of NAD+/NADH. For this latter part, the research team made use of the Amplite Fluorimetric Total NAD and NADH Assay Kit, which offers increased sensitivity and therefore more accurate results when compared to similar assay kits. The reason for this is that Amplite's kit does not rely on measuring the absorption of NAD+/NADH, but rather uses a set of enzymes that specifically recognize NAD/NADH in an enzyme cycling reaction. This allows for far more accurate readings, strengthening the conclusions made.

In the end, Tan's team found that female MSCs are in fact more effective at treating PAH, and their finding was that glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GADPH) is the reason this occurs. This is rather significant as it gives researchers a better understanding as to why there is differentiation between male and female cells, enriching the understanding of stem cells and moving the therapy one step closer towards mainstream adaptation. This type of result would not have been possible if the materials used to measure the various mechanisms going on inside the cells could not be completely and entirely trusted. By making use of the Amplite Fluorimetric Total NAD and NADH Assay Kit, Tan's team could be confident in the results they obtained, offering a strong and reliable piece of evidence that can be used to continue the understanding of stem cells and their viability in treating diseases.



  1. Tan, Rubin, et al. "GAPDH is critical for superior efficacy of female bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells on pulmonary hypertension." Cardiovascular research 100.1 (2013): 19-27.

Original created on March 22, 2018, last updated on March 22, 2018
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