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Stem Cells International
Volume 2015, Article ID 841062, 11 pages
Research Article

In Vitro Differentiation Potential of Human Placenta Derived Cells into Skin Cells

1National Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
2University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan
3Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory, King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan
4Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan

Received 9 March 2015; Revised 1 June 2015; Accepted 3 June 2015

Academic Editor: Hung-Fat Tse

Copyright © 2015 Ruhma Mahmood 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.


Skin autografting is the most viable and aesthetic technique for treatment of extensive burns; however, this practice has potential limitations. Harvesting cells from neonatal sources (such as placental tissue) is a simple, inexpensive, and noninvasive procedure. In the current study authors sought to evaluate in vitro potential of human placenta derived stem cells to develop into skin-like cells. After extensive washing, amniotic membrane and umbilical cord tissue were separated to harvest amniotic epithelial cells (AECs) and umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs), respectively. Both types of cells were characterized for the expression of embryonic lineage markers and their growth characteristics were determined. AECs and UC-MSCs were induced to differentiate into keratinocytes-like and dermal fibroblasts-like cells, respectively. After induction, morphological changes were detected by microscopy. The differentiation potential was further assessed using immunostaining and RT-PCR analyses. AECs were positive for cytokeratins and E-Cadherin while UC-MSCs were positive for fibroblast specific makers. AECs differentiated into keratinocytes-like cells showed positive expression of keratinocyte specific cytokeratins, involucrin, and loricrin. UC-MSCs differentiated into dermal fibroblast-like cells indicated expression of collagen type 3, desmin, FGF-7, fibroblast activation protein alpha, procollagen-1, and vimentin. In conclusion, placenta is a potential source of cells to develop into skin-like cells.