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Stem Cells Int. 2012;2012:987185. doi: 10.1155/2012/987185. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

Periostin as a biomarker of the amniotic membrane.

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Laboratory of Developmental Signaling, VIB11 Center for the Biology of Disease, VIB, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.

Erratum in

  • Stem Cells Int. 2013;2013:509593. Camus, Anne [added].


Tracing the precise developmental origin of amnion and amnion-derived stem cells is still challenging and depends chiefly on analyzing powerful genetic model amniotes like mouse. Profound understanding of the fundamental differences in amnion development in both the disc-shaped primate and human embryo and the cup-shaped mouse embryo is pivotal in particular when sampling amniotic membrane from nonprimate species for isolating candidate amniotic stem cells. The availability of molecular marker genes that are specifically expressed in the amniotic membrane and not in other extraembryonic membranes would be instrumental to validate unequivocally the starting material under investigation. So far such amniotic markers have not been reported. We postulated that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) target genes are putative amniotic membrane markers mainly because deficiency in one of several components of the BMP signaling cascade in mice has been documented to result in defective development of the early amnion. Comparative gene expression analysis of acknowledged target genes for BMP in different extraembryonic tissues, combined with in situ hybridization, identified Periostin (Postn) mRNA enrichment in amnion throughout gestation. In addition, we identify and propose a combination of markers as transcriptional signature for the different extraembryonic tissues in mouse.

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