Stromal cells follow a vascular smooth muscle differentiation pathway. However, cell culture models performed from human bone marrow do not allow the obtention of a large proportion of highly differentiated smooth muscle cells (SMC) and their differentiation pathways remain unclear. We have characterized a new model of SMC differentiation from human bone marrow stromal cells by using different factors (bFGF, EGF, insulin and BMP-4). A relative homogeneous population of differentiated SMC was reproducibly obtained in short-term culture with high expression of SMC markers. Id gene expression was investigated and showed that (1) Id2 mRNA expression was upregulated during SMC differentiation without change of Id1 mRNA and (2) Id1 gene expression highly increased concomitantly with a decrease of SMC markers while Id2 mRNA was slightly modulated. Our data suggested that Id genes are potentially implicated in the differentiation pathway of human SMC from bone marrow.