Indexed on: 11 Mar '10Published on: 11 Mar '10Published in: Cells, tissues, organs
The amniotic membrane has been clinically applied as a therapeutic material in wound covering and corneal surface reconstruction. Recently, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been isolated from the placenta, specifically from the amniotic membrane. However, the localization of MSCs in the amniotic membrane has not been determined. In this study, term placenta was collected, and we performed immunohistochemical staining techniques to identify and localize MSCs in the mesoderm of the amniotic membrane in situ with MSC antibodies, including CD90 and CD105. We further directly cultured and characterized MSCs from the amniotic membrane mesoderm (AMSCs). The AMSCs were easily isolated and represented a homogenous fibroblastic morphology at early passages. In addition to MSC surface markers, AMSCs expressed Sox2, Oct-4 and Nanog. AMSCs could be induced into osteocytes, adipocytes and chondrocytes in vitro and show immunosuppressive effects on T-cell proliferation. Under appropriate conditions, AMSCs could differentiate into neuronal-like cells, which were identified by neuronal-specific markers and their ability to secrete dopamine. This study reveals that AMSCs provide a promising source for stem cell studies and also extend the clinical potential of the amniotic membrane in the field of regenerative medicine.