Term amniotic membrane is a high throughput source for multipotent mesenchymal stem cells with the ability to differentiate into endothelial cells in vitro. BMC Dev Biol 7:11

Department of Histology, Embryology and Applied Biology, University of Bologna, Italy. <>
BMC Developmental Biology (Impact Factor: 2.67). 02/2007; 7(1):11. DOI: 10.1186/1471-213X-7-11
Source: PubMed


Term Amniotic membrane (AM) is a very attractive source of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) due to the fact that this fetal tissue is usually discarded without ethical conflicts, leading to high efficiency in MSC recovery with no intrusive procedures. Here we confirmed that term AM, as previously reported in the literature, is an abundant source of hMSCs; in particular we further investigated the AM differentiation potential by assessing whether these cells may also be committed to the angiogenic fate. In agreement with the recommendation of the International Society for Cellular Therapy, the mesenchymal cells herein investigated were named Amniotic Membrane-human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (AM-hMSC).
The recovery of hMSCs and their in vitro expansion potential were greater in amniotic membrane than in bone marrow stroma. At flow cytometry analysis AM-hMSCs showed an immunophenotypical profile, i.e., positive for CD105, CD73, CD29, CD44, CD166 and negative for CD14, CD34, CD45, consistent with that reported for bone marrow-derived MSCs. In addition, amniotic membrane-isolated cells underwent in vitro osteogenic (von Kossa stain), adipogenic (Oil Red-O stain), chondrogenic (collagen type II immunohistochemichal detection) and myogenic (RT-PCR MyoD and Myogenin expression as well as desmin immunohistochemical detection) differentiation. In angiogenic experiments, a spontaneous differentiation into endothelial cells was detected by in vitro matrigel assay and this behaviour has been enhanced through Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) induction. According to these findings, VEGF receptor 1 and 2 (FLT-1 and KDR) were basally expressed in AM-hMSCs and the expression of endothelial-specific markers like FLT-1 KDR, ICAM-1 increased after exposure to VEGF together with the occurrence of CD34 and von Willebrand Factor positive cells.
The current study suggests that AM-hMSCs may emerge as a remarkable tool for the cell therapy of multiple diseased tissues. AM-hMSCs may potentially assist both bone and cartilage repair, nevertheless, due to their angiogenic potential, they may also pave the way for novel approaches in the development of tissue-engineered vascular grafts which are useful when vascularization of ischemic tissues is required.

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    • "Even though there is debate on the technical name (mesenchymal or multipotent stem cells), there is an agreement to the acronym " MSC " . Since their original description, presence of MSC has been proven in many adult and embryonic tissues such as adipose tissue [3], muscle [4], peripheral blood [5], lung [6], heart [7], corneal stroma [8], dental pulp [9], placenta [10], endometrium [11], amniotic membrane [12], and Wharton's jelly [13]. MSC have the capability to differentiate into wide range of specialized cells of mesodermal origin: bone cells, cartilage, fat, cardiomyocytes , muscle fibers, renal tubular cells, and break germ layer commitment and differentiate into cells of ectodermal origin, for example, neurons, and endodermal origin, such as hepatocytes and pancreatic islets cells. "
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    • "The human placenta is an important source of particularly the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which represent less than one percent of its cells. These can be isolated from first-, second-, and third-trimester placental compartments, including the amnion, chorion, decidua parietalis, decidua basalis, and placental villi (Zhao et al., 2005; Alviano et al., 2007; Soncini et al., 2007; Pasquinelli et al., 2007; Parolini et al., 2010). The following hypothesis has been postulated " Because MSCs can inhibit the action of T-lymphocytes as well as the differentiation and proliferation of monocytes, they are not immunogenic " (Zhang et al., 2006a,b; Moore et al., 2003). "
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    • "These stem cells from the placenta were positive for markers associated with ADSCs as well as other pluripotency markers, including: Oct-4, Klf-4 and Sox2, which are markers that are not typically associated with adult ADSCs [14]. Several recent papers have also described the ability of MSCs from various sources, including bone marrow [15], term amniotic membrane [16], amniotic fluid [17], umbilical cord blood [18] and Wharton's jelly [19] to differentiate into endothelial-like, tubular structures in vitro. Furthermore, several papers have described the microenvironmental factors, including physical forces and soluble factors, which drive MSC differentiation toward an endothelial-like phenotype. "
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