Di-ethanolamine (DEA) is a well-known environmental pollutant used in manufacturing soap, detergent, body lotion, and other sanitary products. DEA has been reported to cause cytotoxicity in different tissue and cell, but no study was found to explain the toxic effect of DEA on rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) differentiation. Thus in the present study, the differentiation property of BMSCs treated with DEA was investigated. BMSCs after 3rd passage were cultured in osteogenic media in presence of 1 and 4 mM of DEA for 21 days. Then, the viability, based on 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide or MTT) and morphology of nuclei and cytoplasm (using fluorescent dye), as well as osteoblasts mineralization property (based on quantitative alizarin red and calcium concentration), were studied. Also, sodium and potassium level, the activity of alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were determined. The level of total-antioxidant capacity (TAC), malondialdehyde (MDA), and the activity of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase and catalase) also were estimated. The DEA treated cells showed nuclear enlargement and cytoplasm shrinkage as well as an increase in potassium level. Also based on LDH activity elevation, we observed a cellular anaerobic metabolism. Also, a significant increase in MDA was shown, while TAC and antioxidant enzyme activity was reduced. Finally, a significant decreased in cell viability and differentiation ability of BMSCs was observed. Since BMSCs are the cellular backup to generate osteoblasts, therefore its intoxication with DEA might cause bone complications, thus we recommend, prevention of DEA utilization in health-related products.
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