Human inferior turbinate: an alternative tissue source of multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Sep;147(3):568-74. doi: 10.1177/0194599812447172. Epub 2012 May 15.


Objective: Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are multipotent progenitor cells in adult tissues. Current challenges for the clinical application of MSCs include donor site morbidity, which underscores the need to identify alternative sources of MSCs. This study aimed to explore potential new sources of multipotent MSCs for use in tissue regeneration and the functional restoration of organs.

Study design: Mixed methods research.

Setting: Tertiary care center.

Subjects and methods: The authors isolated MSCs from human inferior turbinate tissues discarded during turbinate surgery of 10 patients for nasal obstruction. The expression of surface markers for MSCs was assessed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. The differentiation potential of human turbinate mesenchymal stromal cells (hTMSCs) was analyzed by immunohistochemistry, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and Western blot analysis.

Results: Surface epitope analysis revealed that hTMSCs were negative for CD14, CD19, CD34, and HLA-DR and positive for CD29, CD73, and CD90, representing a characteristic phenotype of MSCs. Extracellular matrices with characteristics of cartilage, bone, and adipose tissue were produced by inducing the chondrogenic, osteogenic, and adipogenic differentiation of hTMSCs, respectively. The expression of neuron-specific markers in hTMSCs was confirmed immunocytochemically.

Conclusion: The hTMSCs represent a new source of multipotent MSCs that are potentially applicable to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The availability of differentiated adult cells will allow the development of an effective tissue regeneration method.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Turbinates / cytology*