Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) can differentiate into osteoblasts, adipocytes, chondrocytes and myoblasts. It has been suggested that a reciprocal relationship exists between the differentiation of MSC into osteoblasts and adipocytes. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ2 (PPARγ2) is a key element for the differentiation into adipocytes. Activation of the nuclear protein deacetylase Sirt1 has recently been shown to decrease adipocyte development from preadipocytes via inhibition of PPARγ2. In vitro, MSC differentiate to osteoblasts when exposed to bone-inducing medium. However, adipocytes are also developed. In the present study we have targeted Sirt1 to control adipocyte development during differentiation of MSC into osteoblasts. The finding that resveratrol and isonicotinamide markedly inhibited adipocyte and promoted osteoblast differentiation demonstrates an interesting alternative to PPARγ antagonists. These results are important for the evolving field of cell-based tissue engineering, but may also be relevant in the search for new treatments of osteoporosis.

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