Author(s): Gojo S
The characterization of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is of biological and clinical interest. We demonstrate that isolated MSCs, defined by CD34(low) c-kit(+) CD140a(+) Sca-1(high), are able to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, and pericytes or smooth muscle cells by direct injection into adult heart. In skeletal muscle and lung, they also contributed to formation of the vasculature. MSCs did not transform into malignant cells or form excess extracellular matrix. This study suggests that MSCs may supply an ideal donor source of cardiovascular cells in patients with cardiopulmonary diseases.