Bone marrow stem cells (BMC) develop into hematopoietic and mesenchymal lineages but have not been known to differentiate into glomerular cells. To investigate whether such differentiation is possible, a search was made for donor glomerular cells in lethally irradiated C57BL/6j (B6) mice given transplants of BMC from syngeneic mice transgenic for green fluorescence protein (GFP) ([GFP-->B6] mice). After the recipients of donor BMC manifested GFP-positive cells in their glomeruli, the numbers of such cells increased markedly, in a time-dependent manner, from 2 wk to 24 wk after bone marrow transplantation. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that most GFP-positive cells in the glomeruli were neither macrophages nor T cells. With the use of a laser-scanning confocal microscope, GFP-positive cells were observed within the mesangium of [GFP-->B6] mice. Furthermore, indirect immunofluorescence assays demonstrated that desmin-positive cells in the glomeruli of these chimeric mice were also positive for GFP. Among glomerular cells isolated from [GFP-->B6] mice 24 wk after bone marrow transplantation and then cultured, the majority of cells (approximately 84%) stained for desmin and approximately 60% of the desmin-positive cells expressed GFP. In addition, these GFP-positive cells in the cultures contracted in response to angiotensin II stimulation. These results suggest that bone marrow-derived cells may have the potential to differentiate into glomerular mesangial cells.