Author(s): Maria AlvarezViejo
Bone marrow has been considered the main source for isolation of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells for therapeutic approaches. However, alternative sources of mesenchymal stem cells have been sought because their frequency and differentiating capacity decrease with age and because they are not easy to obtain from healthy donors. These cells have been also described both in umbilical cord blood and in Wharton’s jelly. To date, several studies have shown that CD271 is the most specific marker expressed of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells before being cultured. The aim of this study was to determine whether it is possible to identify not cultured mesenchymal stem cells umbilical cord blood and Wharton’s Jelly using this marker, as well as to compare the results found to those obtained in bone marrow. Bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and Wharton’s Jelly cells suspension were analyzed by flow cytometry in order to identify the CD271+/CD45- population. Furthermore, we evaluated the potential to obtain mesenchymal stem cells from each source. Our results showed CD271+/CD45- cells in bone marrow samples, although this population did not appeared in umbilical cord blood nor from Wharton’s Jelly. However, the absence of this phenotype before culture samples had no relation with the ability to culture mesenchymal stem cells, specially taking into account that is was possible to obtain them from Wharton’s Jelly but not from umbilical cord blood. Our findings suggest that CD271 is not an adequate marker to identify mesenchymal stem cells from human umbilical cord before culture.