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Korean Journal of Reproductive Medicine 2010;37(2):99-113.
Published online June 1, 2010.
Very Small Putative Stem Cells Detected in Human Endometrium.
Jong Ryeol Choi, Jong Kil Joo, Eun Sook Jun, Kyoung Rae Ko, Hong Gu Lee, Kyu Sup Lee, Won Gyu Kim
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
2Medical Research Institute, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Korea.
3Infertility Clinic, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Korea.
4Department of Animal Science & PNU-Special Animal Techology Center, Pusan National University, Korea.
5Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
It has been recently reported that very small stem cells with pluripotency are detected in murine and human. The purposes of this study are to confirm whether very small putative stem cells (VSPSCs), which have the proper characteristics of stem cells as well as the expression of stem cell markers, are detected in human endometrium. METHODS: The endometrial cells of 5 women, which were obtained by endometrial biopsy, were cultured for 2 weeks and were confirmed for the expressions of alkaline phosphatase, OCT-4 and CXCR4 by immunochemistry. Subsequently VSPSCs were separated by percoll density gradient method and were cultured. Also VSPSCs and their derived cells were confirmed for the expressions of OCT-4 and CXCR4. RESULTS: The colonies, which is composed with VSPSCs less than 3 micrometer and the 5~15 micrometer sized hyperchromatic round cells, were detected in the endometrium of all of women and showed the strong expressions of alkaline phosphatase, OCT-4 and CXCR4. In culture after the separation of VSPSCs by percoll, these cells showed the morphological and functional characteristics of stem cells; self-renewal, colony formation, embryoid body-like formation and differential plasticity. VSPSCs formed gradually the 5~15 micrometer sized hyperchromatic round cells and the 10~20 micrometer sized sphere-shaped cells by cell-to-cell aggregation or cell fusion. Then these cells differentiated the various cells including fibroblast-like cells, nerve-like cells and endothelium-like cells. VSPSCs and their derived cells often showed the strong expressions of OCT-4 and CXCR4. CONCLUSION: VSPSCs less than 3 micrometer and their derived cells are detected in human endometrium and these cells have the proper characteristics of stem cells and the expressions of stem cell markers as alkaline phosphatase, OCT-4 and CXCR4.
Key Words: Endometrium; Stem cells; Alkaline phosphatase; OCT-4; CXCR4
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