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Stem Cells Dev. 2013 Apr 15;22(8):1275-87. doi: 10.1089/scd.2012.0359. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Characterization of mesenchymal stem cell subpopulations from human amniotic membrane with dissimilar osteoblastic potential.

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Laboratorio de Biología Molecular e Histocompatibilidad, Dirección de Investigación Hospital General Dr. Manuel Gea González, México, México.


Human fetal mesenchymal stem cells can be isolated from the amniotic membrane (AM-hMSCs) by enzymatic digestion. The biological properties of this cell population have been characterized; however, few studies have focused on the presence of stem cell subpopulations and their differentiation potential. The aim of the present study was to isolate homogeneous AM-hMSC subpopulations based on the coexpression of surface markers. In addition, we aimed to characterize stem cell subpopulations through the detection of typical stem cell markers and its differentiation potential. In this study, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) was used to positively select for the surface markers CD44, CD73, and CD105. Two subpopulations were isolated: CD44+ / CD73+ / CD105+ (CD105+), and CD44+ / CD73+ / CD105- (CD105-). To characterize the cell subpopulations, the expression of pluripotency-associated markers was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and immunofluorescence. Our results showed positive expression of SOX2, SOX3, PAX6, OCT3/4, and NANOG in the CD105+ and CD105(-) cell subpopulations. In contrast, we did not detect expression of SSEA4 or FOXD3 in either subpopulation. Immunophenotypes, such as mesenchymal and hematopoietic markers, were studied by FACS analyses. Our data revealed the expression of the CD49a, CD49d, CD29, integrin α9β1, CD44, CD73, and CD105 antigens in both subpopulations. In contrast, CD90, CD45, CD34, CD14, and HLA-DR expression was not detected. The ability of both subpopulations to differentiate into osteoblasts, adipocytes, and chondrocytes was evidenced using Alizarin red, Oil-Red, and Alcian blue staining, respectively. Furthermore, neuronal differentiation was demonstrated by the expression of GFAP and NEURO-D. Interestingly, we observed a dissimilar osteoblastic differentiation potential between the subpopulations. CD105- cells showed stronger expression of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) and osteonectin, which was associated with more effective calcium deposition, than CD105+ cells. In conclusion, we described a systematic method for the isolation of hMSCs that was highly reproducible and generated homogeneous cultures for osteoblast differentiation with an efficient capacity for mineralization.

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