Mapping of the Human Placenta: Experimental Evidence of Amniotic Epithelial Cell Heterogeneity


Centurione L, Passaretta F, Centurione MA, Munari S, Vertua E, Silini A, Liberati M, Parolini O, Pietro RD.

Cell Transplant. 2018 Jan


The human placenta is an important source of stem cells that can be easily collected without ethical concerns since it is usually discarded after childbirth. In this study, we analyzed the amniotic membrane (AM) from the human placenta with the aim of mapping different regions with respect to their morpho-functional features and regenerative potential. AMs were obtained from 24 healthy women, undergoing a caesarean section, and mapped into 4 different regions according to their position in relation to the umbilical cord: the central, intermediate, peripheral, and reflected areas. We carried out a multiparametric analysis focusing our attention on amniotic epithelial cells (AECs). Our results revealed that AECs, isolated from the different areas, are a heterogeneous cell population with different pluripotency and proliferation marker expression (octamer-binding transcription factor 4 [OCT-4], tyrosine-protein kinase KIT [c-KIT], sex determining region Y-box 2 [SOX-2], α-fetoprotein, cyclic AMP response element binding [CREB] protein, and phosphorylated active form of CREB [p-CREB]), proliferative ability, and osteogenic potential. Our investigation discloses interesting findings that could be useful for increasing the efficiency of AM isolation and application for therapeutic purposes.

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