Fibroblast activation protein alpha identifies mesenchymal stromal cells from human bone marrow

Br J Haematol. 2008 Sep;142(5):827-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2008.07241.x. Epub 2008 May 24.


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have gained widespread popularity in cell therapy, but their development into clinical products has been impeded by the scarcity of cell-specific markers. We previously explored transcriptome and membrane proteome of MSCs, from which fibroblast activation protein alpha (FAP) was recognized as a prime surface marker candidate. The present study showed that FAP was constitutively expressed on MSCs, but not on other cells. FAP immunoselection yielded homogeneous MSCs from cryopreserved bone marrow (BM). These results suggest that FAP serves as a surface protein marker that can singly define MSCs from BM and possibly from other sources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow Cells* / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells* / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gelatinases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Serine Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • fibroblast activation protein alpha
  • Gelatinases