Comparison of human mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose and cord tissue

Cytotherapy. 2013 Mar;15(3):330-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jcyt.2012.11.010. Epub 2013 Jan 11.


Background aims: Stem cell therapies can provide an alternative approach for repair and regeneration of tissues and organs. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising candidates for cell-based therapies. Although bone marrow-derived MSCs have multi-lineage differentiation potential, bone marrow is not an optimal source because of the isolation process and low yield. The goal of this study was to investigate comparatively for the first time the in vitro regenerative potential of human MSCs from two other sources: umbilical cord tissue and adipose tissue.

Methods: Cells from each tissue were isolated with 100% efficiency and characterized by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis for CD3, CD14, CD19, CD34, CD44, CD45, CD73, CD90 and CD105. Growth characteristics were investigated by population doublings, saturation density and plating efficiency. MSCs derived from both types of tissues were assessed for differentiation potential qualitatively and quantitatively.

Results: FACS analysis showed no differences in expression of CD3, CD14, CD19, CD34, CD44, CD45, CD73, CD90 and CD105 between cord tissue MSCs (CT-MSCs) and adipose tissue MSCs (AT-MSCs). CT-MSCs showed more proliferative potential than AT-MSCs. When cultured in low numbers to determine colony-forming units (CFUs), CT-MSCs showed less CFUs than AT-MSCs. Cells from both sources efficiently differentiated into adipose, bone, cartilage and neuronal structures as determined with histochemistry, immunofluorescence and real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.

Conclusions: MSCs can easily be obtained from umbilical cord and adipose tissues, and it appears that both tissues are suitable sources of stem cells for potential use in regenerative medicine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Umbilical Cord / cytology*
  • Umbilical Cord / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD