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Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2018;13(6):409-422. doi: 10.2174/1574888X13666180501120416.

Epithelial In vitro Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

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Cell Production and Tissue Engineering Unit, Biosanitary Institute of Granada (ibs.GRANADA). Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital, Granada, Spain.
Andalusian Initiative for Advanced Therapies, Sevilla, Spain.


Mesenchymal stem cells or mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are non-hematopoietic stromal cells that reside in many human organs and have been isolated from a variety of adult or fetal tissues such as adipose tissue, bone marrow and umbilical cord Wharton's jelly, among others. Because they are a heterogeneous population, International Society for Cellular Therapy has established 3 minimum criteria to characterize MSCs in vitro: i) adherence to plastic, ii) differentiation potential (osteogenic, chondrogenic and adipogenic lineages) and iii) expression of specific surface antigens (CD73+, CD90+, CD105+, CD34-, CD45-, CD11b-, CD14-, CD19-, CD79a-, HLA-DR-). Because of these characteristics, MSCs are useful for different applications and studies, most of them related with regenerative biomedicine. Epithelial in vitro differentiation of MSCs, for clinical use, is one of the main objectives in this field, due to, on the one hand, the difficulties to establish epithelial cell cultures and, on the other hand, the immunomodulatory capacity of MSCs that could increase the success of transplantation. According to this and the information compiled from bibliography, production of epithelial cells differentiated in vitro from MSCs is a complex procedure and a lot of techniques and culture media are necessary to explore. The objective of this review is to show the different methods of epithelial in vitro differentiation and remark the need to further study for being capable of establishing specific cell lines of epithelial cells differentiated from autogenic or allogenic MSCs.


Epithelial cells; epithelial in vitro differentiation; mesenchymal stem cells; regenerative biomedicine; somatic stem cell; stem cell.

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