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Stem Cells Dev. 2008 Dec;17(6):1095-107. doi: 10.1089/scd.2007.0154.

Comparison of human placenta- and bone marrow-derived multipotent mesenchymal stem cells.

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Adult Stem Cell Laboratory, Biotherapy Program, Mater Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


Bone marrow is the traditional source of human multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), but placenta appears to be an alternative and more readily available source. This study comprehensively compared human placenta-derived MSC (hpMSC) and human bone marrow-derived MSC (hbmMSC) in terms of cell characteristics, optimal growth conditions and in vivo safety specifically to determine if hpMSC could represent a source of human MSC for clinical trial. MSC were isolated from human placenta (hpMSC) and human bone marrow (hbmMSC) and expanded ex vivo using good manufacturing practice-compliant reagents. hpMSC and hbmMSC showed similar proliferation characteristics in different basal culture media types, fetal calf serum (FCS) concentrations, FCS heat-inactivation experiments, flask types and media replacement responsiveness. However, hpMSC and hbmMSC differed with respect to their proliferation capabilities at different seeding densities, with hbmMSC proliferating more slowly than hpMSC in every experiment. hpMSC had greater long-term growth ability than hbmMSC. MSC from both sources exhibited similar light microscopy morphology, size, cell surface phenotype, and mesodermal differentiation ability with the exception that hpMSC consistently appeared less able to differentiate to the adipogenic lineage. A comparison of both hbmMSC and hpMSC from early and medium passage cultures using single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) GeneChip analysis confirmed GTG-banding data that no copy number changes had been acquired during sequential passaging. In three of three informative cases (in which the gender of the delivered baby was male), hpMSC were of maternal origin. Neither hpMSC nor hbmMSC caused any acute toxicity in normal mice when injected intravenously at the same, or higher, doses than those currently used in clinical trials of hbmMSC. This study suggests that human placenta is an acceptable alternative source for human MSC and their use is currently being evaluated in clinical trials.

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