, Volume 132, Issue 5, pp 533-546
Date: 14 Aug 2009

Characterization of mesenchymal stem cells from rat bone marrow: ultrastructural properties, differentiation potential and immunophenotypic markers

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Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) can differentiate into many lineages. Although the growing interest in BM-MSCs has led to a number of characterization studies, some important biochemical and immunohistochemical properties are still lacking. In this study, morphological and immunophenotypic properties of BM-MSCs were examined in detail. Differentiation potential and growth kinetics of adult rat BM-MSCs were also determined. Immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR results indicated that BM-MSCs expressed myogenic (desmin, myogenin, myosin IIa, and α-SMA), neurogenic (γ-enolase, MAP2a,b, c-fos, nestin, GFAP and beta III tubulin), and osteogenic (osteonectin, osteocalcin, osteopontin, Runx-2, BMP-2, BMP-4 and type I collagen) markers without stimulation towards differentiation. These expression patterns indicated why these cells can easily differentiate into multiple lineages both in vitro and in vivo. Ultrastructural characteristics of rBM-MSCs showed more developed and metabolically active cells.