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Biological Sciences


Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences


Background: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from adult tissues (Ad-MSCs) have shown great promise for use in regenerative medicine. However, their poor in vitro expansion capacity and tissue scarcity have been major limitations. In this study, we demonstrate that mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) can differentiate into cells with MSC properties.

Methods: Using previously established methods that characterize Ad-MSCs, we analyzed mESC-differentiated fibroblasts (mESC-FBs), including plastic adherence, clonogenic growth, MSC marker expression, tri-lineage differentiation potential, and the capacity to express immunomodulators.

Results: Although previously characterized as mESC-differentiated fibroblasts (mESC-FBs), these cells exhibit major properties of Ad-MSCs. However, mESC-FBs also display unique features inherited from ESCs, including robust expansion capacity, senescence resistance, and attenuated innate immunity. In particular, mESC-FBs are insensitive to bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) and do not express LPS-induced inflammatory molecules, in contrast to bone marrow (BM)-MSCs. We further demonstrate that mESC-FBs are resistant to the cytotoxicity associated with inflammatory cytokines, bacterial endotoxins (LPS and heat-killed bacteria), and macrophage-mediated inflammation.

Conclusions: While it remains to be determined how the unique properties of mESC-FBs will affect their immunoregulatory activity under an in vivo condition, our findings demonstrate that ESCs could be used as an alternative source to generate a new class of ESC-MSCs with unique features potentially useful in regenerative medicine.


Published by 'Stem Cell Research & Therapy' at 10.1186/s13287-018-1033-8.

Publication Title

Stem Cell Research & Therapy



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