The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 55: 181 - 187 (2011)

Vol 55, Issue 2

Growth factor-defined culture medium for human mesenchymal stem cells

Open Access | Original Article | Published: 3 February 2011

Sumiyo Mimura1,2, Naohiro Kimura3, Mitsuhi Hirata1, Daiki Tateyama1, Midori Hayashida1, Akihiro Umezawa4, Arihiro Kohara1, Hiroki Nikawa2, Tetsuji Okamoto3 and Miho K. Furue*,1

1JCRB Cell Bank, Laboratory of Cell Cultures, Department of Disease Bioresources, National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, Osaka, 2Department of Oral Biology and Engineering, Division of Oral Health Science, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, 3Department of Molecular Oral Medicine and Maxillofacial Surgery, Division of Frontier Medical Science, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima and 4Department of Reproductive Biology and Pathology, National Research Institute for Child Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan


Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are potential cellular sources of therapeutic stem cells as they have the ability to proliferate and differentiate into a wide array of mesenchymal cell types such as osteoblasts, chondroblasts and adipocytes. hMSCs have been used clinically to treat patients with graft vs. host disease, osteogenesis imperfect, or alveolar cleft, suggesting that transplantation of hMSCs is comparatively safe as a stem cell-based therapy. However, conventional culture medium for hMSCs contains fetal bovine serum (FBS). In the present study, we developed a growth factor-defined, serum-free medium for culturing hMSCs. Under these conditions, TGF-beta1 promoted proliferation of hMSCs. The expanded hMSC population expressed the human pluripotency markers SSEA-3, -4, NANOG, OCT3/4 and SOX2. Furthermore, double positive cells for SSEA-3 and a mesenchymal cell marker, CD105, were detected in the population. The potential to differentiate into osteoblasts and adipocytes was confirmed. This work provides a useful tool to understand the basic biological properties of hMSCs in culture.


mesenchymal stem cell, serum-free culture, TGF-beta1

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