Human mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow display a better chondrogenic differentiation compared with other sources

M. E. Bernardo, J. A M Emons, M. Karperien, A. J. Nauta, R. Willemze, H. Roelofs, S. Romeo, A. Marchini, G. A. Rappold, S. Vukicevic, F. Locatelli, W. E. Fibbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells capable of differentiation into several mesodermal lineages. These cells have been isolated from various tissues, such as adult bone marrow, placenta, and fetal tissues. The comparative potential of these cells originating from different tissues to differentiate into the chondrogenic lineage is still not fully defined. The aim of our study was to investigate the chondrogenic potential of MSCs isolated from different sources. MSCs from fetal and adult tissues were phenotypically characterized and examined for their differentiation capacity, based on morphological criteria and expression of extracellular matrix components. Our results show that both fetal and adult MSCs have chondrogenic potential under appropriate conditions. The capacity of bone marrow-derived MSCs to differentiate into chondrocytes was reduced on passaging of cells. MSCs of bone marrow origin, either fetal or adult, exhibit a better chondrogenesis than fetal lung- and placenta-derived MSCs, as demonstrated by the appearance of typical morphological features of cartilage, the intensity of toluidine blue staining, and the expression of collagen type II, IX, and X after culture under chondrogenic conditions. As MSCs represent an attractive tool for cartilage tissue repair strategies, our data suggest that bone marrow should be considered the preferred MSC source for these therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-140
Number of pages9
JournalConnective Tissue Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


  • Chondrogenesis
  • Differentiation Potential
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells
  • Tissue Engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Nephrology
  • Cell Biology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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