Cell Physiol Biochem 35:2299 (2015)

GFP Labeling and Hepatic Differentiation Potential of Human Placenta-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Yu J1, Su X, Zhu C, Pan Q, Yang J, Ma J, Shen L, Cao H, Li L



Stem cell-based therapy in liver diseases has received increasing interest over the past decade, but direct evidence of the homing and implantation of transplanted cells is conflicting. Reliable labeling and tracking techniques are essential but lacking. The purpose of this study was to establish human placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hPMSCs) expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) and to assay their hepatic functional differentiation in vitro.


The GFP gene was transduced into hPMSCs using a lentivirus to establish GFP(+) hPMSCs. GFP(+) hPMSCs were analyzed for their phenotypic profile, viability and adipogenic, osteogenic and hepatic differentiation. The derived GFP(+) hepatocyte-like cells were evaluated for their metabolic, synthetic and secretory functions, respectively.


GFP(+) hPMSCs expressed high levels of HLA I, CD13, CD105, CD73, CD90, CD44 and CD29, but were negative for HLA II, CD45, CD31, CD34, CD133, CD271 and CD79. They possessed adipogenic, osteogenic and hepatic differentiation potential. Hepatocyte-like cells derived from GFP(+) hPMSCs showed typical hepatic phenotypes.


GFP gene transduction has no adverse influences on the cellular or biochemical properties of hPMSCs or markers. GFP gene transduction using lentiviral vectors is a reliable labeling and tracking method. GFP(+) hPMSCs can therefore serve as a tool to investigate the mechanisms of MSC-based therapy, including hepatic disease therapy.

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