Thymosin beta-4 promotes mesenchymal stem cell proliferation via an interleukin-8-dependent mechanism

Byung Joon Jeon, Yoolhee Yang, Su Kyung Shim, Heung Mo Yang, Daeho Cho, Sa Ik Bang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold great promise for the field of tissue regeneration. Because only a limited number of MSCs can be obtained from each donor site, it is important to establish standard methods for MSC expansion using growth and trophic factors. Thymosin β4 (Tβ4) is a novel trophic factor that has antimicrobial effects and the potential to promote tissue repair. Tβ4 is a ubiquitous, naturally-occurring peptide in the wound bed. Therefore, the relationship between Tβ4 and MSCs, especially adjacent adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs), merits consideration. Exogenous Tβ4 treatment enhanced the proliferation of human ASCs, resulting in prominent nuclear localization of PCNA immunoreactivity. In addition, exogenous Tβ4 also increased IL-8 secretion and blocking of IL-8 with neutralizing antibodies decreased Tβ4-induced ASC proliferation, suggesting that IL-8 is a critical mediator of Tβ4-enhanced proliferation. Moreover, Tβ4 activated phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and increased the nuclear translocation of NF-κB. These observation provide that Tβ4 promotes the expansion of human ASCs via an IL-8-dependent mechanism that involves the ERK and NF-κB pathways. Therefore, Tβ4 could be used as a tool for MSC expansion in cell therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2526-2534
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct 15
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a Samsung Biomedical Research Institute grant ( SBRI C-A9-214-3 ), by the Bio-Med Translational Research Center at Samsung Medical Center, and by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) through the SRC program (Research Center for Women's Disease) at Sookmyung Women's University.


  • Cell proliferation
  • ERK pathway, NF-κB
  • Interleukin-8
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Thymosin β4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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