Serum deprivation of human marrow stromal cells (hMSCs) selects for a subpopulation of early progenitor cells with enhanced expression of OCT-4 and other embryonic genes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Recently there has been interest in developing cell and gene therapies with adult stem cells from human bone marrow referred to as mesenchymal stem cells or marrow stromal cells (hMSCs). We incubated early-passage hMSCs in serum-free medium without cytokines or other supplements for 2 to 4 weeks. Surprisingly, a subpopulation of the cells survived serum deprivation and then began to proliferate in serum-containing medium. The cells selected by serum deprivation had longer telomeres than control cells. Also, the patterns of gene expression revealed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays and microarray data indicated that the cells selected by serum deprivation were a subpopulation of very early progenitor cells with enhanced expression of octomer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT-4) and several other genes characteristically expressed in embryonic cells.

published proceedings

  • Blood

altmetric score

  • 8.88

author list (cited authors)

  • Pochampally, R. R., Smith, J. R., Ylostalo, J., & Prockop, D. J.

citation count

  • 200

complete list of authors

  • Pochampally, Radhika R||Smith, Jason R||Ylostalo, Joni||Prockop, Darwin J

publication date

  • March 2004

published in