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In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 1993 Sep;29A(9):723-36.

Pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells reside within avian connective tissue matrices.

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  • 1Division of Basic Medical Science, Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, Georgia 31207.


Recent studies have noted the presence of putative stem cells derived from the connective tissues associated with skeletal muscle, heart, and dermis. Long-term continuous cultures of these cells from each tissue demonstrated five distinct phenotypes of mesodermal origin, i.e. muscle, fat, cartilage, bone, and connective tissue. Clonal analysis was performed to determine whether these morphologies were the result of a mixed population of lineage-committed stem cells or the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells or both. Putative stem cells from four tissues (skeletal muscle, dermis, atria, and ventricle) were isolated and cloned. Combined, 1158 clones were generated from the initial cloning and two subsequent subclonings. Plating efficiency approximated 5.8%. Approximately 70% of the 1158 clones displayed a pure stellate morphology, while the remaining clones contained a mixture of stellate, chondrogenic- or osteogenic-like morphologies or both. When cultured in the presence of dexamethasone, cells from all clones differentiated in a time- and concentration-dependent manner into muscle, fat, cartilage, and bone. These results suggest that pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells are present within the connective tissues of skeletal muscle, dermis, and heart and may prove useful for studies concerning the regulation of stem cell differentiation, wound healing, and tissue restoration, replacement and repair.

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