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Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2008 Jul;233(7):901-13. doi: 10.3181/0712-RM-356. Epub 2008 Apr 29.

Dissimilar differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, and adipose tissue.

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  • 1Laboratorio Experimental de Cultivo Celular, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Rua Imaculada Conceição 1155, Curitiba 80215-901, Brazil.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been investigated as promising candidates for use in new cell-based therapeutic strategies such as mesenchyme-derived tissue repair. MSCs are easily isolated from adult tissues and are not ethically restricted. MSC-related literature, however, is conflicting in relation to MSC differentiation potential and molecular markers. Here we compared MSCs isolated from bone marrow (BM), umbilical cord blood (UCB), and adipose tissue (AT). The isolation efficiency for both BM and AT was 100%, but that from UCB was only 30%. MSCs from these tissues are morphologically and immunophenotypically similar although their differentiation diverges. Differentiation to osteoblasts and chondroblasts was similar among MSCs from all sources, as analyzed by cytochemistry. Adipogenic differentiation showed that UCB-derived MSCs produced few and small lipid vacuoles in contrast to those of BM-derived MSCs and AT-derived stem cells (ADSCs) (arbitrary differentiation values of 245.57 +/- 943 and 243.89 +/- 145.52 mum(2) per nucleus, respectively). The mean area occupied by individual lipid droplets was 7.37 mum(2) for BM-derived MSCs and 2.36 mum(2) for ADSCs, a finding indicating more mature adipocytes in BM-derived MSCs than in treated cultures of ADSCs. We analyzed FAPB4, ALP, and type II collagen gene expression by quantitative polymerase chain reaction to confirm adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic differentiation, respectively. Results showed that all three sources presented a similar capacity for chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation and they differed in their adipogenic potential. Therefore, it may be crucial to predetermine the most appropriate MSC source for future clinical applications.

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