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Stem Cells Dev. 2012 May 1;21(7):1165-75. doi: 10.1089/scd.2011.0346. Epub 2011 Sep 27.

Efficient differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into mesenchymal stem cells by modulating intracellular signaling pathways in a feeder/serum-free system.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Stem Cell Differentiation, KAIST (Korean Advance Institute of Sciences and Technology), Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC-derived MSCs) will be one promising alternative cell source for MSC-based therapies. Here, an efficient protocol is demonstrated for generating hPSC-derived MSCs under a feeder-free culture system by regulating signaling pathways. Simultaneous treatments with Activin A, BIO (6-bromoindirubin-3'-oxime), and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (ABB) activated the transcription of mesoderm-lineage genes such as T, MIXL1, and WNT3 in hPSCs. The ABB-treated hPSCs could develop into CD105(+) cells with a high efficiency of 20% in the MSC-induction medium. The properties of the hPSC-derived CD105(+) cells were similar to those of adult MSCs in terms of surface antigens. Also, hPSC-derived MSCs had the potential to differentiate into adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes in vitro. The results demonstrated that functional MSCs could be generated efficiently from hPSCs by the combined modulation of signaling pathways.

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