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Regen Med. 2014;9(6):723-32. doi: 10.2217/rme.14.60.

Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stromal/stem cells derived under chemically defined animal product-free low oxygen conditions are rich in MSCA-1(+) subpopulation.

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Division of Women's Health, Women's Health Academic Centre KHP, King's College London, London, UK.



Umbilical cord contains, within Wharton's jelly (WJ), multipotent mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) of fetal origin that can be isolated and expanded in vitro with a minimal manipulation and very high efficiency. Our aim was to develop a highly reproducible protocol that has the unique potential to be scaled up and adapted to cGMP requirements for the use in cellular therapy.


We found that derivation of WJ MSCs under defined conditions in low oxygen resulted in several folds higher populations of MSCA-1(+) cells (6.0-19.2%) when compared with WJ MSCs derived in the presence of serum (0.1-2.8%) or clinical-grade bone marrow (BM) MSCs cultured under atmospheric O2 (20%). We demonstrate that WJ MSCs derived following our protocol display antiproliferative activity similar to clinical-grade BM MSCs. We also show that these WJ MSCs can be differentiated into adipo-, chondro- and osteo-genic lineages.


Easy accessibility, abundance and genetic 'naivety' make WJ MSCs logistically a more attractive source for clinical applications than BM MSCs.


MSCA-1; Wharton's jelly; animal product-free culture; chemically defined condition; mesenchymal stem cell; mesenchymal stromal cell; umbilical cord

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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