, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 19-27

Derivation of multipotent nestin+/CD271/STRO-1 mesenchymal-like precursors from human embryonic stem cells in chemically defined conditions

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The successful establishment of stem cell-based therapies requires multipotent, immunocompatible stem cells, highly efficient strategies for direct differentiation, and most importantly, optimal culture conditions for large-scale expansion of such cell populations. Other than adult tissues, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) represent another infinitely expansible source for mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) derivation. Here, we reproducibly derived a population of Nestin+/CD271/STRO-1 mesenchymal-like precursors from hESCs (hESC-MPs) in chemically defined conditions, without requiring any serum or serum replacement of animal origin, based on a Y-27632-assisted monolayer culture system. These cells showed slim fibroblastic morphology, and satisfied the criteria of MSCs including self-renewal, the expression of multiple MSC-specific markers and the ability to differentiate into osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondrocytes. Compared with previously reported hESC-derived MSCs, our hESC-MPs were more multipotent, and could differentiate into representative derivatives of all three embryonic germ layers including mature smooth muscle cells, cardiomyocytes, functional hepatocytes and neural cells expressing various neurotransmitter phenotypes, making them an attractive cell source for regenerative medicine.