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Stem Cells International
Volume 2015, Article ID 565732, 14 pages
Research Article

Comparative Investigation of Human Amniotic Epithelial Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Application in Bone Tissue Engineering

1Department of Oral and Craniomaxillofacial Science, Ninth People’s Hospital College of Stomatology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Stomatology, Shanghai 200011, China
2Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China

Received 24 October 2014; Revised 1 December 2014; Accepted 1 December 2014

Academic Editor: Armand Keating

Copyright © 2015 Jiawen Si et al. 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.


Emerging evidence suggests amniotic epithelial cells (AECs) as a promising source of progenitor cells in regenerative medicine and bone tissue engineering. However, investigations comparing the regenerative properties of AECs with other sources of stem cells are particularly needed before the feasibility of AECs in bone tissue engineering can be determined. This study aimed to compare human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs), human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs), and human amniotic fluid derived mesenchymal stem cells (hAFMSCs) in terms of their morphology, proliferation, immunophenotype profile, and osteogenic capacity in vitro and in vivo. Not only greatly distinguished by cell morphology and proliferation, hAECs, hAFMSCs, and hBMSCs exhibited remarkably different signature regarding immunophenotypical profile. Microarray analysis revealed a different expression profile of genes involved in ossification along the three cell sources, highlighting the impact of different anatomical origin and molecular response to osteogenic induction on the final tissue-forming potential. Furthermore, our data indicated a potential role of FOXC2 in early osteogenic commitment.