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J Dev Biol Tissue Eng. 2013 May 1;5(2):18-25.

Markers Are Shared Between Adipogenic and Osteogenic Differentiated Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

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Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60612-7231, USA.


The stem cell differentiation paradigm is based on the progression of cells through generations of daughter cells that eventually become restricted and committed to one lineage resulting in fully differentiated cells. Herein, we report on the differentiation of adult human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) towards adipogenic and osteogenic lineages using established protocols. Lineage specific geneswere evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR relative to two reference genes. The expression of osteoblast-associated genes (alkaline phosphatase, osteopontin, and osteocalcin)was detected in hMSCs that underwent adipogenesis. When normalized, the expression of adipocyte marker genes (adiponectin, fatty acid binding protein P4, and leptin) increasedin a time-dependent manner during adipogenic induction. Adiponectin and leptin were also detected in osteoblast-induced cells. Lipid vacuoles that represent the adipocyte phenotype were only present in the adipogenic induction group. Conforming to the heterogeneous nature of hMSCs and the known plasticity between osteogenic and adipogenic lineages, these data indicatea marker overlap between MSC-derived adipocytes and osteoblasts. Weproposea careful consideration of experimental conditions such as investigated timepoints, selected housekeeping genesand the evidence indicating lack of differentiation into other lineageswhen evaluating hMSC differentiation.


cell plasticity; differentiation; differentiation markers; mesenchymal stem cell

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