Plasticity and the differentiation potential of MSCs

Principles of stem cell biology and cancer: future applications and therapeutics. Edited by T. Regad, T. J. Sayers and R. C. Rees. John Wiley & Sons (2015)

Part II. Cancer stem cells

MSCs propagated in established in vitro culture systems have been extensively studied. The classic osteogenic differentiation of MSCs in different tissues requires distinct signals (Jaiswal et al., 1997; Pittenger et al., 1999). It has been demonstrated that only one-third of initial adherent bone marrow-derived MSC colonies are pluripotent and capable of differentiating into osteoblastic, chondrocytic and adipocytic cell lineages, while the majority of MSCs exhibits a bilineage (osteo/chondro) or unilineage (osteo) potential. Subsequent studies have revealed the presence of a potential hierarchical model of differentiation, with human bone marrow clonal MSCs readily differentiating into the three lineages, followed by sequential loss of lineage potential, with the osteogenic precursors as residual cells (Muraglia et al., 2000). In addition, MSCs have been reported to exhibit greater differentiation potential than was originally recognized (Eslaminejad et al., 2010). They can give rise to various cells, including neurons, keratinocytes and parenchymal cells of the lung and intestines (Chapel et al., 2003; Sugaya, 2003).

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