Comprehensive Comparison of Amnion Stromal Cells and Chorion Stromal Cells by RNA-Seq

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 14;22(4):1901. doi: 10.3390/ijms22041901.


Mesenchymal stromal cells derived from the fetal placenta, composed of an amnion membrane, chorion membrane, and umbilical cord, have emerged as promising sources for regenerative medicine. Here, we used next-generation sequencing technology to comprehensively compare amniotic stromal cells (ASCs) with chorionic stromal cells (CSCs) at the molecular and signaling levels. Principal component analysis showed a clear dichotomy of gene expression profiles between ASCs and CSCs. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering confirmed that the biological repeats of ASCs and CSCs were able to respectively group together. Supervised analysis identified differentially expressed genes, such as LMO3, HOXA11, and HOXA13, and differentially expressed isoforms, such as CXCL6 and HGF. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis showed that the GO terms of the extracellular matrix, angiogenesis, and cell adhesion were significantly enriched in CSCs. We further explored the factors associated with inflammation and angiogenesis using a multiplex assay. In comparison with ASCs, CSCs secreted higher levels of angiogenic factors, including angiogenin, VEGFA, HGF, and bFGF. The results of a tube formation assay proved that CSCs exhibited a strong angiogenic function. However, ASCs secreted two-fold more of an anti-inflammatory factor, TSG-6, than CSCs. In conclusion, our study demonstrated the differential gene expression patterns between ASCs and CSCs. CSCs have superior angiogenic potential, whereas ASCs exhibit increased anti-inflammatory properties.

Keywords: RNA-seq; amniotic stromal cells; angiogenesis; anti-inflammation; chorionic stromal cells; placenta.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amnion / cytology*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chorion / cytology*
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Ontology
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / drug effects
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / genetics
  • Placenta / cytology
  • Placenta / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • RNA-Seq / methods*
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism*
  • THP-1 Cells


  • Culture Media, Conditioned