Stem Cell Reviews and Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 16–31 | Cite as

Phenotypic and Functional Characterization of Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Chorionic Villi of Human Term Placenta

  • M. H. AbumareeEmail author
  • M. A. Al Jumah
  • B. Kalionis
  • D. Jawdat
  • A. Al Khaldi
  • A. A. AlTalabani
  • B. A. Knawy



Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) are used extensively in transplantation but their use is associated with many problems including low abundance in BM, low overall number, decreased differentiation potential with age and the invasive isolation procedures needed to obtain BM. We report a novel method of isolating placental MSCs (pMSCs) from chorionic villi, which exhibit the phenotypic and functional characteristics that will make them an attractive source of MSCs for cell-based therapy.


A novel explant approach was used to isolate pMSCs from chorionic villi of human placentae. These pMSCs were characterized by flow cytometry and were differentiated into adipocytes, osteocytes and chondrocytes using differentiation medium as demonstrated by cytochemical staining. The gene and protein expression profiles of pMSCs were also characterized using real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and flow cytometry, respectively. In addition, cytokine secretion by pMSCs was also analysed using sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. Moreover, the migration and proliferation potentials of pMSCs were also determined.


pMSCs were isolated from fetal part of the chorionic villi and these pMSCs expressed CD44, CD90, CD105, CD146, CD166 and HLA-ABC but not CD14, CD19, CD40, CD45, CD80, CD83, CD86 and HLA-DR. In addition, these pMSCs differentiated into osteocytes, chondrocytes and adipocytes and they also expressed several adhesion molecules, chemokines/receptors, growth factor receptors and cytokines/receptors. Moreover, they secreted many cytokines (IL-1Ra, IL6, IL8, IL10, IL11 and IL15) and they were able to proliferate. Furthermore, they migrated in response to chemotactic factors including stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1), platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1).


We devised a novel explant method of isolating pMSCs that expressed many biological factors responsible for mediating cellular processes such as migration/homing, immune modulation and angiogenesis. Therefore, we suggest that pMSCs prepared from human term placental chorionic villous explants are an attractive source of MSCs for cell therapy.


Chorionic villi Placental mesenchymal stem cells Characterization Migration Proliferation 



We would also like to thank the staff and patients of the Delivery Unit, King Abdul Aziz Medical City for their help in obtaining placentae. This study was supported by grants from King Abdulla International Medical Research Centre (Grant No. RC08/114) and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (Grant No. ARP-29-186). B. Kalionis acknowledges that support of National Health and Medical Research Grant 509178.

Conflict of interest The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. H. Abumaree
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. A. Al Jumah
    • 1
  • B. Kalionis
    • 2
    • 3
  • D. Jawdat
    • 1
  • A. Al Khaldi
    • 1
  • A. A. AlTalabani
    • 1
  • B. A. Knawy
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz Medical City, National Guard Health AffairsRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Perinatal Medicine Pregnancy Research CentreRoyal Women’s HospitalParkvilleAustralia

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