Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 347, Issue 2, pp 419–427 | Cite as

Comparative investigation of the differentiation capability of bone-marrow- and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells by qualitative and quantitative analysis

  • Radhakrishnan Vishnubalaji
  • May Al-Nbaheen
  • Balamuthu Kadalmani
  • Abdullah Aldahmash
  • Thiyagarajan Ramesh
Regular Article


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold promise for cell-based therapy in regenerative medicine. To date, MSCs have been obtained from conventional bone marrow via a highly invasive procedure. Therefore, MSCs are now also isolated from sources such as adipose tissue, cord blood and cord stroma, a subject of growing interest. As the characterization and differentiation potential of adipose-derived MSCs (AD-MSCs) and bone-marrow-derived MSCs (BM-MSCs) have not been documented, we have evaluated and compared the characteristics of both MSC types by qualitative and quantitative analyses. Both cell types show similar morphology and surface protein expression, being positive for stromal-associated markers and negative for hematopoietic and endothelial markers. The colony-forming potential of AD-MSCs is distinctly higher than that of BM-MSCs. Nonetheless, similar adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation is observed in both groups of MSCs. Cytochemical qualitative analysis and calcium mineralization demonstrate higher levels toward osteogenic differentiation in BM-MSCs than in AD-MSCs. On the contrary, the percentage of Nile red oil staining for differentiated adipocytes is higher in AD-MSCs than in BM-MSCs. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction shows similar patterns of osteogenic- and adipogenic-associated gene expression in both cell types. Each of the MSCs respond in functional analysis by exhibiting unique properties at the differentiation level according to their micro-environmental niche. Thus, quantitative analysis might be a valuable means of describing stem cell multipotency, in addition to qualitative investigation.


Mesenchymal stem cells Bone marrow Adipose tissue Qualitative and quantitative analysis Multipotency Human 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Radhakrishnan Vishnubalaji
    • 1
    • 2
  • May Al-Nbaheen
    • 1
  • Balamuthu Kadalmani
    • 2
  • Abdullah Aldahmash
    • 1
    • 4
  • Thiyagarajan Ramesh
    • 3
  1. 1.Stem Cell Unit, Department of AnatomyKing Saud UniversityRiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Animal Science, School of Life SciencesBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia
  3. 3.Department of Applied Biochemistry, Division of Life Science, College of Biomedical and Health ScienceKonkuk UniversityChungjuSouth Korea
  4. 4.KMEB, Department of EndocrinologyUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark

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