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Open Access Common Expression of Stemness Molecular Markers and Early Cardiac Transcription Factors in Human Wharton’s Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Embryonic Stem Cells

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Abstract:

At present, there are still significant barriers that impede the clinical use of hESCs and iPS cells, including ethics, immunorejection, tumorigenesis from hESCs, and teratoma formation from iPS cells. It is therefore necessary to search for alternative sources of stem cells. WJ-MSCs originate from embryonic epiblasts and possess properties intermediate between hESCs and adult stem cells. However, the stemness properties of molecules in WJ-MSCs remain unclear compared to those of hESCs. In the present study, we isolated WJ-MSCs by a nonenzymatic method. Further, using microarray analysis by Affymetrix GeneChip and functional network analyses, we determined the degree of expression of stemness genes exhibited by the Human Stem Cell Pluripotency array. We also defined a wide range of stem cell gene expression in the WJ-MSCs in comparison with hESCs. At the same time, the definitive markers of early cardiac precursor cells and more committed progenitors were further characterized in WJ-MSCs. Our results demonstrated for the first time that WJ-MSCs had significant expression of undifferentiated human embryonic stem cell core markers, such as SOX2, NANOG, LIN28, SSEA1, SSEA3, SSEA4, KLF4, c-MYC, CRIPTO, and REX1, with a relatively lower level of expression than in hESCs. We also found WJ-MSCs have high expression of early cardiac transcription factors, such as Flk-1, Isl-1, and Nkx2.5. Functional analysis revealed signature genes of WJ-MSCs with specific roles involved in immune, cytoskeletal, and chemokine regulation, cell adhesion, and cell signaling. Our study indicated that there is a significant overlap between the stemness genes expressed by hESCs and WJ-MSCs. WJ-MSCs harbor a true stem cell population and are promising cells for stem cell-based therapies.

Keywords: Early cardiac transcription factors; Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs); Stemness genes; Wharton’s jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs)

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/096368912X662444

Publication date: October 4, 2013

More about this publication?
  • 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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