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Stem Cells International
Volume 2015, Article ID 362753, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/362753
Review Article

Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor Alpha as a Marker of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Development and Stem Cell Biology

1Institute of Dental Research, Department of Life Science, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
2Bioengineering Unit, Department of Life Science, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Received 15 February 2015; Revised 24 May 2015; Accepted 17 June 2015

Academic Editor: Renke Li

Copyright © 2015 Ramin M. Farahani and Munira Xaymardan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Three decades on, the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been intensively researched on the bench top and used clinically. However, ambiguity still exists in regard to their anatomical locations, identities, functions, and extent of their differentiative abilities. One of the major impediments in the quest of the MSC research has been lack of appropriate in vivo markers. In recent years, this obstacle has been resolved to some degree as PDGFRα emerges as an important mesenchymal stem cell marker. Accumulating lines of evidence are showing that the PDGFRα+ cells reside in the perivascular locations of many adult interstitium and fulfil the classic concepts of MSCs in vitro and in vivo. PDGFRα has long been recognised for its roles in the mesoderm formation and connective tissue development during the embryogenesis. Current review describes the lines of evidence regarding the role of PDGFRα in morphogenesis and differentiation and its implications for MSC biology.