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Abstract: Amnion-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AMSCs) are multipotent cells with an enhanced ability to differentiate into multiple lineages. AMSCs can be acquired through noninvasive methods, and therefore are exempt from the typical ethical issues surrounding stem cell use. The objective of this study was to isolate and characterize AMSCs from a cat amniotic membrane for future application in regenerative medicine. The cat AMSCs were harvested after mechanical and enzymatic digestion of amnion. In culture medium, the cat AMSCs adhered to a plastic culture dish and displayed a fibroblast-like morphology. Immunophenotyping assays were positive for the mesenchymal stem cell-specific markers CD73 and CD90 but not the hematopoietic markers CD34, CD45, and CD79. Under appropriate conditions, the cat AMSCs differentiated into osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic cell lineages. One advantage of cat AMSCs was nonteratogenicity, assessed 4 weeks post injection of undifferentiated AMSCs into immunodeficient mice. These findings suggest that cat amniotic membranes may be an important and useful source of mesenchymal stem cells for clinical applications, especially for cell or tissue replacement in chronic and degenerative diseases.
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