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Open Access Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Chorionic Villi and Amniotic Fluid Are Not Susceptible to Transformation After Extensive In Vitro Expansion

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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising candidates for cell therapy and tissue engineering. Increasing evidence suggests that MSCs isolated from fetal tissues are more plastic and grow faster than adult MSCs. In this study, we characterized human mesenchymal progenitor cells from chorionic villi (CV) and amniotic fluid (AF) isolated during the first and second trimesters, respectively, and compared them with adult bone marrow-derived MSCs (BM). We evaluated 10 CV, 10 AF, and 6 BM samples expanded until the MSCs reached senescence. We used discarded cells from prenatal analyses for all the experiments. To evaluate the replicative stability of these cells, we studied the telomerase activity, hTERT gene transcription, and telomere length in these cells. Spontaneous chromosomal alterations were excluded by cytogenetic analysis. We studied the expression of c-myc and p53, tumor-associated genes, at different passage in culture and the capacity of these cells to grow in an anchorage-independent manner by using soft agar assay. We isolated homogeneous populations of spindle-shaped CV, AF, and BM cells expressing mesenchymal immunophenotypic markers throughout the period of expansion. CV cells achieved 14 ± 0.9 logs of expansion in 118 days and AF cells achieved 21 ± 0.9 logs in 118 days, while BM cells achieved 11 × 0.4 logs in 84 days. Despite their high proliferation capacity, fetal MSCs showed no telomerase activity, no hTERT and c-myc transcriptions, and maintained long, stable telomeres. A constant expression level of p53 and a normal karyotype were preserved throughout long-term expansion, suggesting the safety of fetal MSCs. In conclusion, our results indicate that fetal MSCs could be an alternative, more accessible resource for cell therapy and regenerative medicine.
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Keywords: Fetal mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT); Telomerase activity; Telomere

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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