Isolation and characterization of mesenchymal cells from human fetal membranes

Maddalena Soncini, Elsa Vertua, Lucia Gibelli, Fausto Zorzi, Marco Denegri, Alberto Albertini, Georg S. Wengler, Ornella Parolini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bone marrow (BM) multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) present with multipotent differentiation potential and immunomodulatory properties. As an alternative to bone marrow, we have examined fetal membranes, amnion and chorion, of term human placenta as a potential source of multipotent MSCs. Here we show that amnion mesenchymal cells (AMCs) and chorion mesenchymal cells (CMCs),isolated by mechanical separation and subsequent enzymatic digestion, demonstrate plastic adherence and fibroblast-like morphology and are able to form colonies that could be expanded for at least15 passages. By FACS analysis, AMCs and CMCs were shown to be phenotypically similar to BM-MSCs and, when cultured in differentiation media, they demonstrated high morphogenetic plasticity by differentiating into osteocytes, chondrocytes and adipocytes. In an attempt to isolate cells with MSC characteristics from human fetal membranes, AMCs and CMCs expressing CD271 were enriched by immunomagnetic isolation and were demonstrated to possess higher clonogenic and osteogenic differentiation potential than CD271-depleted fractions. Based on these findings, amnion and chorion can be considered as a novel and convenient source of adult MSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-305
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • Amnion
  • Chorion
  • Fetal membranes
  • Human placenta
  • Mesenchymal cells
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Medicine(all)


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