ABSTRACT: Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) have several advantages for clinical therapy: the material is easily obtainable, the donation procedure is painless and there is low risk of viral contamination. UC-MSCs play important roles in tissue regeneration, tissue damage repair, autoimmune disease and graft-versus-host disease. In this study, we investigated the normal mRNA expression profile of UC-MSCs, and analyzed the candidate proteins responsible for the signaling pathway that may affect the differentiation characteristics of UC-MSCs. UC-MSCs were isolated by mincing UC samples into fragments and placing them in growth medium in a six-well plate. The immunophenotype characteristics and multilineage differentiation potential of the UC-MSCs were measured by flow cytometry and immunohistochemical assays. In addition, the pathway-focused gene expression profile of UC-MSCs was compared with those of normal or tumorous cells by realtime quantitative polymerase chain reaction. We successfully isolated and cultured UC-MSCs and analyzed the appropriate surface markers and their capacity for osteogenic, adipogenic and neural differentiation. In total, 168 genes focusing on signal pathways were examined. We found that the expression levels of some genes were much higher or lower than those of control cells, either normal or tumorous. UC-MSCs exhibit a unique mRNA expression profile of pathway-focused genes, especially some stemness genes, which warrants further investigation.
Experimental Biology and Medicine 06/2012; 237(6):709-19. · 2.64 Impact Factor