ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF STEM/ PROGENITOR CELLS FROM HUMAN AMNION – POSSIBLE APPLICATION OF NEURAL REPAIR IN THE FUTURE
Objectives: Fetal membranes, which contained amnion and chorion, serve multiple and disparate roles in human pregnancy. Amnion is the major strength component of fetal membranes, allowing the containment of the amniotic fluid and the avoidance of premature rupture of membrane. In recent years, one kind of somatic stem cells was fully discussed, and that was mesenchymal stem cell. At the beginning, mesenchymal stem cell was focused on their ability to differentiate into bone, cartilage, adipose tissues, etc, and maybe those tissues could easily apply to clinical transplantation in the future. But in 1998, bone marrow isolated mesenchymal stem cells were found to undergo neuronal differentiation when they were co-cultured with brain tissue. As a result, mesenchymal stem cells may have the potential to differentiate into different tissues. Methods: In this study, we collected samples from chorion of a placenta obtained from an elective cesarean section. First, we had found adequate procedure to get two kinds of amniotic cells separately and we compared their characteristics and morphology. Second, we performed serial dilution to find if any stem cell or progenitor cell clone from single cell which had the capacity to self-renew and differentiate into multiple lineages. Third, after we have already isolated this clone, we analyzed its characterizations and also compared with those of other somatic stem cells.
Results: By functional assay, we concluded the isolated human amniotic mesenchymal stem/ progenitor cells can be differentiated into adipocyte, cartilage and neural cell lineages. With RT-PCR and cell surface marker analyses, we found these cells were similar to other mesenchymal stem cells. We also found these cells were HLA-DR negative that they may have potential for clinical application.
Conclusion: Amnion tissue was always discarded after delivery, however, if we could provide stem/ progenitor cells from this tissue, maybe in the future, we will have many clinical applications from it.