• bladder cancer;
  • differentiation;
  • immunohistochemistry;
  • receptor tyrosine kinase;
  • RT-PCR;
  • stem cell


Human amniotic fluid stem cells (HAFSCs) have a high proliferative capacity and a good differentiation potential, and may thus be suitable for regenerative medicine. To date, urothelial differentiation mechanisms of HAFSCs are poorly understood. We have investigated the urothelial differentiation potential of HAFSCs so that they can be therapeutically applied to cure defective diseases of bladder. To induce the stem cell differentiation, HAFSCs were cultured in a bladder cancer-derived conditioned medium. After 2 weeks of culture, HAFSCs began to express the urothelial lineage-specific markers (UPII, CK8 and FGF10). Meanwhile, pluripotency markers (Oct-4, Sox-2 and Nanog) were downregulated at both RNA and protein levels in the differentiated HAFSCs. Immunocytochemistry data revealed that differentiated HAFSCs expressed urothelial markers of UPII and CK8. We have screened the receptor tyrosine kinase arrays with the differentiated HAFSCs. The screening showed that MuSK, Tie-1 and EphA4 receptor tyrosine kinases were upregulated, whereas EphA7 and FGF R1 kinases were downregulated in HAFSCs. The data suggest that HAFSCs can be an important urothelium cell source, which can be used for urinary tract engineering.