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Placenta. 2013 Jul;34(7):526-35. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2013.03.017. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Enrichment in c-Kit+ enhances mesodermal and neural differentiation of human chorionic placental cells.

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Department of Surgical, Medical, Dental and Morphological Sciences with interest in Transplant, Oncology and Regenerative Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.



Human term placenta (HTP) has attracted increasing attention as an alternative source of stem cells for regenerative medicine since the amniochorionic membrane harbors stem cells populations that are easily accessible, abundantly available without ethical objections. In the chorionic side of HTP we found a progenitor perivascular "niche" in which rare cells co-express Oct-4 and c-Kit. We investigated the stem cell characteristics and differentiation potential of a chorionic derived population enriched in c-Kit(+) cells and compared this to the unenriched population.


Cells, isolated from the chorion of HTP, were expanded and enriched in c-Kit(+) cells (Chorionic Stem Cells-CSC). Histological staining, immunofluorescence, Western blot and flow cytometry were used to verify the stem cells characteristics of the populations and to compare the differentiation capability towards mesodermal and neural lineages in vitro.


The expression of the pluripotent marker Oct-4 was greater in the CSCs compared to the unselected cells (Chorionic Cell-CC) but both Oct-4 and c-Kit expression decreased during passages. After differentiation, CSC displayed stronger chondrogenic and osteogenic potential and a greater adipogenic forming capacity compared to unselected ones. CSC differentiated better into immature oligodendrocytes while CC showed a neuronal progenitor differentiation potential. Moreover, both populations were able to differentiate in hepatogenic lineage.


CSC display improved Oct-4 expression and a high differentiation potential into mesodermal lineages and oligodendrocytes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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