Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are capable of self-renewal and differentiation into multiple cell lineages. Presently, bone marrow is considered as a prime source of MSCs; however, there are some drawbacks and limitations in use of these MSCs for cell therapy. In this study, we demonstrate that human gingival tissue-derived MSCs have several advantages over bone marrow-derived MSCs. Gingival MSCs are easy to isolate, homogenous and proliferate faster than bone marrow MSCs without any growth factor. Importantly, gingival MSCs display stable morphology and do not loose MSC characteristic at higher passages. In addition, gingival MSCs maintain normal karyotype and telomerase activity in long-term cultures, and are not tumorigenic. Thus, we reveal that human gingiva is a better source of MSCs than bone marrow, and large number of functionally competent clinical grade MSCs can be generated in short duration for cell therapy in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.
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