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J Cell Biochem. 2010 Mar 1;109(4):747-54. doi: 10.1002/jcb.22453.

Differentiation of human umbilical cord Wharton's jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells into germ-like cells in vitro.

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Department of Pediatrics, Second Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical College (SUMC), Shantou, PR China.


Recent studies have demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells could differentiate into germ cells under appropriate conditions. We sought to determine whether human umbilical cord Wharton's jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (HUMSCs) could form germ cells in vitro. HUMSCs were induced to differentiate into germ cells in all-trans retinoic acid, testosterone and testicular-cell-conditioned medium prepared from newborn male mouse testes. HUMSCs formed "tadpole-like" cells after induction with different reagents and showed both mRNA and protein expression of germ-cell-specific markers Oct4 (POUF5), Ckit, CD49(f) (alpha6), Stella (DDPA3), and Vasa (DDX4). Our results may provide a new route for reproductive therapy involving HUMSCs and a novel in vitro model to investigate the molecular mechanisms that regulate the development of the mammalian germ lineage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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