International Journal of Hematology

, 78:256

Induction of Umbilical Cord Blood Mesenchymal Stem Cells into Neuron-Like Cells In Vitro


  • Lingling Hou
    • Beijing Institute of Transfusion Medicine
  • Hua Cao
    • Beijing Institute of Transfusion Medicine
  • Dongmei Wang
    • Beijing Institute of Transfusion Medicine
  • Guorong Wei
    • Beijing Institute of Transfusion Medicine
  • Cixian Bai
    • Beijing Institute of Transfusion Medicine
  • Yong Zhang
    • Northwest Sci-Tech University of Agriculture and Forestry
    • Beijing Institute of Transfusion Medicine
Case Report

DOI: 10.1007/BF02983804

Cite this article as:
Hou, L., Cao, H., Wang, D. et al. Int J Hematol (2003) 78: 256. doi:10.1007/BF02983804


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in human umbilical cord blood are multipotent stem cells that differ from hematopoietic stem cells. They can differentiate in vitro into mesenchymal cells such as osteoblasts and adipocytes. However, differentiation into nonmesenchymal cells has not been demonstrated. Here, we report the isolation, purification, expansion, and differentiation of human umbilical cord blood MSCs into neurocytes in vitro. Cord blood samples were allowed to drain from the end of the cord into glass bottles with 20 U/mL preservative-free heparin. MSCs were isolated from human umbilical cord blood, purified, and expanded in Mesencult medium. Surface antigens of MSCs were analyzed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). MSC passages 2,5, and 8 were induced to differentiate into neuron-like cells. Neurofilament (NF) and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) were detected by immunohistochemistry staining. Special Nissl bodies were observed by histochemical analysis. The results showed that 6.6 × 105 primary MSCs were expanded for 10 passages to obtain 9.9 × 108 MSCs, an increase of approximately 1.5 × 103-fold. FACS results showed that the MSCs did not express antigens CD34, CD11a, and CD11b and expressed CD29 and CD71, an expression pattern identical to that of human bone marrow-derived MSCs. Induction results indicated that approximately 70% of the cells exhibited a typical neuron-like phenotype. Immunohistochemistry staining suggested that induced MSCs of different passages expressed NF and NSE. Special Nissl bodies were obvious in the neuron-like cells. These results suggest that MSCs in human umbilical cord blood are capable of differentiating into neuron-like cells in vitro.Int J Hematol. 2003;78:256-261.

Key words

Umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cellsIn vitro expansionCommitted inductionNeuron-like cell

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Hematology 2003