Isolation of multipotent cells from human term placenta

Stem Cells. 2005;23(1):3-9. doi: 10.1634/stemcells.2004-0098.


Current sources of stem cells include embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and adult stem cells (ASCs). However, concerns exist with either source: ESCs, with their significant ethical considerations, tumorigenicity, and paucity of cell lines; and ASCs, which are possibly more limited in potential. Thus, the search continues for an ethically conducive, easily accessible, and high-yielding source of stem cells. We have isolated a population of multipotent cells from the human term placenta, a temporary organ with fetal contributions that is discarded postpartum. These placenta-derived multipotent cells (PDMCs) exhibit many markers common to mesenchymal stem cells--including CD105/endoglin/SH-2, SH-3, and SH-4--and they lack hematopoietic-, endothelial-, and trophoblastic-specific cell markers. In addition, PDMCs exhibit ESC surface markers of SSEA-4, TRA-1-61, and TRA-1-80. Adipogenic, osteogenic, and neurogenic differentiation were achieved after culturing under the appropriate conditions. PDMCs could provide an ethically uncontroversial and easily accessible source of multipotent cells for future experimental and clinical applications.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Separation / methods
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human / analysis
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Placenta / cytology*
  • Placenta / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Reference Values
  • Term Birth


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human