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Keywords:

  • Perivascular cells;
  • Bone marrow stromal cells;
  • Multidifferentiation

Abstract

Human umbilical cord perivascular cells (HUCPVCs) have been shown to have a high proliferative potential and the capacity to differentiate into an osteogenic phenotype. HUCPVCs have thus been considered a possible extra-embryonic mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) source for cell-based therapies. To assess this potential, we compared HUCPVCs to the “gold standard” bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs) with respect to their proliferation, differentiation, and transfection capacities. HUCPVCs showed a higher proliferative potential than BMSCs and were capable of osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic differentiation. Interestingly, osteogenic differentiation of HUCPVCs proceeded more rapidly than BMSCs. Additionally, HUCPVCs expressed higher levels of CD146, a putative MSC marker, relative to BMSCs. HUCPVCs showed comparable transfection efficiency as BMSCs using a nucleofection method but were more amenable to transfection with liposomal methods (FuGENE). Gene array analysis showed that HUCPVCs also expressed Wnt signaling pathway genes that have been implicated in the regulation of MSCs. The similar characteristics between HUCPVCs and MSCs support the applicability of HUCPVCs for cell-based therapies.

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.