Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Industrial Biotechnology Research Group, Institute of Biotechnology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Department, Academic Center for Education, Culture, and Research (ACECR)-Khorasan Razavi, Iran

4 The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

5 Novel Diagnostics and Therapeutics Research Group, Institute of Biotechnology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran



Transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is a promising strategy in regenerative medicine. These cells can differentiate into chondrocytes, fibroblasts, or osteoblasts, essential components in bone healing. Dysregulated inflammation, resulting from a decreased or augmented immune response, can suppress bone healing. To overcome this problem, different strategies have been applied to improve the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory potencies of MSCs. Several studies have explored the potential of using small molecules to enhance the process of bone formation and regeneration. In addition to the proven safety and efficacy of lithium in managing bipolar disorder over many years, it has been reported in several studies that it could potentially contribute to an increase in bone mass. Some have focused on the role of lithium chloride (LiCl) in activating the WNT/β-Catenin pathway, which is involved in the differentiation of MSCs into osteoblasts. In this study, we evaluated the ability of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (Ad-MSCs) treated with LiCl to differentiate into bone cells. To assess osteogenesis, mineralization was evaluated in cells cultured in an osteogenic induction medium. In addition to checking the expression of genes related to bone formation, we also investigated the expression of several genes related to immunomodulation at the mRNA level. We observed that LiCl enhanced the osteogenesis of Ad-MSCs, as evidenced by an increase in mineralization and the enhanced expression of osteogenic markers. Moreover, the expression of cytokines, which promote the anti-inflammatory behavior of these cells, was augmented. These findings could potentially be clinically relevant to improving conditions associated with bone loss, such as osteopenia and osteoporosis.