Characterization of stage-specific embryonic antigen-4 (SSEA-4)-positive very small embryonic-like stem cells isolated from human Wharton's jelly

Wei Li, Shaohui Pan, Xin Wang, Wenrong Xu
2017 Int J Clin Exp Med   unpublished
Objective: Recent studies have demonstrated that several subpopulations of adult stem cells display pluripotent properties. Methods: In this study, we isolated and characterized a small population of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) expressing stage-specific embryonic antigen-4 (SSEA-4). Results: These cells expressed multiple stem cell markers including CD105, CD90, CD73, Oct4, Nanog, Sox2, and SSEA-4. These cells had a high ability to self-renew and form embryoid bodies
more » ... rm embryoid bodies in suspension culture. Most interestingly, a minor proportion of SSEA-4 + cells could spontaneously differentiate into cell types of all three germ layers in vitro. However , SSEA-4-cells did not show these properties. The comparison of osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation ability showed that SSEA-4 + cells were easier to differentiate into osteogenic and adipogenic cells than SSEA-4-cells. Conclusions: In conclusion, SSEA-4 + cells derived from hUC-MSCs have the possibility acting as an excellent source for multipotent stem cells. SSEA-4 + cells may serve as a promising source for cell-based therapies.