Functional module analysis reveals differential osteogenic and stemness potentials in human mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow and Wharton's Jelly of umbilical cord

Jui Yu Hsieh, Yu Show Fu, Shing Jyh Chang, Yang Hwei Tsuang, Hsei Wei Wang

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114 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) found in bone marrow (BM)-MSCs are an attractive source for the regeneration of damaged tissues. Alternative postnatal, perinatal, and fetal sources of MSCs are also under intensive investigation. MSCs from the Wharton's jelly matrix of umbilical cord (WJ)-MSCs have higher pancreatic and endothelial differentiation potentials than BM-MSCs, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We compared the gene expression profiles, enriched canonical pathways, and genetic networks of BM-MSCs and WJ-MSCs. WJ-MSCs express more angiogenesis-and growth-related genes including epidermal growth factor and FLT1, whereas BM-MSCs express more osteogenic genes such as RUNX2, DLX5, and NPR3. The gene expression pattern of BM-MSCs is more similar to osteoblasts than WJ-MSCs, suggesting a better osteogenic potential. In contrast, WJ-MSCs are more primitive because they share more common genes with embryonic stem cells. BM-MSCs are more sensitive to environmental stimulations because their molecular signatures altered more significantly in different culture conditions. WJ-MSCs express genes enriched in vascular endothelial growth factor and PI3K-NFκB canonical pathways, whereas BM-MSCs express genes involved in antigen presentation and chemokine/cytokine pathways. Drylab results could be verified by wetlab experiments, in which BM-MSCs were more efficient in osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation, whereas WJ-MSCs proliferated better. WJ-MSCs thus constitute a promising option for angiogenesis, whereas BM-MSCs in bone remodeling. Our results reveal systematically the underlying genes and regulatory networks of 2 MSCs from unique ontological and anatomical origins, as well as the resulted phenotypes, thereby providing a better basis for cell-based therapy and the following mechanistic studies on MSC biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1895-1910
Number of pages16
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Hematology

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