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Cell Transplant. 2010;19(11):1439-49. doi: 10.3727/096368910X514260. Epub 2010 Jun 29.

An efficient approach to isolation and characterization of pre- and postnatal umbilical cord lining stem cells for clinical applications.

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DaVinci Biosciences LLC, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, USA.


There have been various forms of mesenchymal stem cell-like (MSC-like) cells isolated from umbilical cords (UCs). The isolation of umbilical cord lining stem cells (ULSCs) may be of great value for those interested in a possible treatment to several disease/disorders. Unlike umbilical cord blood cells, these cells are unique because they can be expanded to therapeutically relevant numbers and cryopreserved for several different uses. Here we efficiently isolate stem cells from a small segment of pre- and postnatal UCs, and obtain therapeutically relevant amounts of ULSCs within 3 weeks. We demonstrate their growth potential and characterize them using immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, and RT-PCR. In addition, we differentiate ULSCs into multiple lineages. Pre- and postnatal ULSCs are morphologically similar to mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and easily expand to greater than 70 population doublings. They express pluripotent markers Oct4 and nanog at the protein and RNA level. Flow cytometry demonstrates that they express markers indicative of MSCs in addition to high SSEA-4 expression. ULSCs are easily differentiated into osteogenic, adipogenic, chondrogenic, cardiogenic, and neurogenic cells. Pre- and postnatal ULSCs are characteristically similar in respect to their growth, marker expression, and plasticity, demonstrating they are highly conserved throughout development. ULSCs have phenotypic and genotypic properties of MSCs. These studies demonstrate the therapeutic potential of an otherwise discarded tissue. They are a perfect HLA match for the donor and an excellent match for immediate family members; therefore, they may serve as a therapeutic cell source.

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