3,2′-dihydroxyflavone-treated pluripotent stem cells show enhanced proliferation, pluripotency marker expression, and neuroprotective properties

Dawoon Han, Han Jun Kim, Hye Yeon Choi, Bong Woo Kim, Gwangmo Yang, Jihae Han, Ahmed Abdal Dayem, Hye Rim Lee, Jin Hoi Kim, Kyung Mi Lee, Kyu Shik Jeong, Sun Hee Do, Ssang Goo Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Efficient maintenance of the undifferentiated status of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) may be important for preparation of high-quality cell sources that can be successfully used for stem cell research and therapy. Here we tried to identify a compound that can enhance the quality of pluripotent stem cells. Treatment of ESCs and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with 3,2′-dihydroxyflavone (3,2′-DHF) led to increases in cell growth, colony formation, and cell proliferation. Treatment with 3,2′-DHF resulted in high expression of pluripotency markers (OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG) and significant activation (STAT3 and AKT) or suppression (GSK3b and ERK) of self-renewal-related kinases. 3,2′-DHF-treated high-quality pluripotent stem cells also showed enhanced differentiation potential. In particular, treatment of iPSCs with 3,2′-DHF led to elevated expression of ectodermal differentiation markers and improved differentiation into fully matured neurons. Next, we investigated the in vivo effect of 3,2′-DHF-pretreated iPSCs (3,2′-DHF iPSCs) in a peripheral nerve injury model and found that transplantation of 3,2′-DHF iPSCs resulted in more efficient axonal regeneration and functional recovery than in controls. Upon histopathological and gene expression analyses, we found that transplantation of 3,2′-DHF iPSCs stimulated expression of cytokines, such as TNF-a, in the early phase of injury and successfully reduced convalescence time of the injured peripheral nerve, showing an effective neuroprotective property. Taken together, our data suggest that 3,2′-DHF can be used for more efficient maintenance of pluripotent stem cells as well as for further applications in stem cell research and therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1511-1532
Number of pages22
JournalCell Transplantation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 19


  • 3,2′-Dihydroxyflavone
  • Neuroprotective property
  • Peripheral nerve injury model
  • Pluripotent stem cell
  • Self-renewal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation


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