Molecular and cellular characterisation of highly purified stromal stem cells derived from human bone marrow

Stan Gronthos, Andrew C W Zannettino, Shelley J. Hay, Songtao Shi, Stephen E. Graves, Angela Kortesidis, Paul J. Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

868 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have provided evidence for the existence of adult human bone marrow stromal stem cells (BMSSCs) or mesenchymal stem cells. Using a combination of cell separation techniques, we have isolated an almost homogeneous population of BMSSCs from adult human bone marrow. Lacking phenotypic characteristics of leukocytes and mature stromal elements, BMSSCs are non-cycling and constitutively express telomerase activity in vivo. This mesenchymal stem cell population demonstrates extensive proliferation and retains the capacity for differentiation into bone, cartilage and adipose tissue in vitro. In addition, clonal analysis demonstrated that individual BMSSC colonies exhibit a differential capacity to form new bone in vivo. These data are consistent with the existence of a second population of bone marrow stem cells in addition to those for the hematopoietic system. Our novel selection protocol provides a means to generate purified populations of BMSSCs for use in a range of different tissue engineering and gene therapy strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1827-1835
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipose
  • Bone
  • Bone marrow stroma
  • CFU-F
  • Cartilage
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • STRO-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

Cite this