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Comparison of endometrial regenerative cells and bone marrow stromal cells

Huan Wang1, Ping Jin1, Marianna Sabatino1, Jiaqiang Ren1, Sara Civini1, Vladimir Bogin2, Thomas E Ichim2 and David F Stroncek13*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Transfusion Medicine, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

2 MediStem Inc, San Diego, CA, USA

3 Department of Transfusion Medicine, Cell Processing Section, 10 Center Drive-MSC-1288, Building 10, Room 3C720, Bethesda, MD, 20892-1288, USA

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Journal of Translational Medicine 2012, 10:207  doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-207

Published: 5 October 2012



Endometrial regenerative cells (ERC) and bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) are being used in clinical trials. While they have been reported to have similar characteristics, they have not been directly compared.


We compared micro RNA (miRNA) and gene expression profiles, soluble cytokine and growth factor levels and ability to inhibit ongoing mixed leukocyte reaction (MLR) of ERC and BMSC each derived from 6 healthy subjects.


ERC and BMSC miRNA and gene expression profiles were similar, but not identical; more differences were noted in the expression of genes than in miRNAs. Genes overexpressed in ERCs were more likely to be in immune and inflammation pathways and those overexpressed in BMSCs were more likely to be in stem cell and cancer signaling pathways. In addition, the levels of IL-8 and ICAM-1 were greater in ERC supernatants while the levels of HGF, VEGF, IL-6, CXCL12, TGFB1 and TGFB2 were greater in BMSC supernatants. Additionally, ERC demonstrated greater inhibition of the proliferation of mixed leukocyte cultures.


These results suggest that the in vivo effects of ERC and BMSC may differ. Multiple properties of stromal cells are responsible for their in vivo effectiveness and ERC may be more effective for some of the clinical applications and BMSC for others. Studies in animal models or clinical trials will be required to more fully characterize the differences between ERC and BMSC.

Endometrial regenerative cells; Bone marrow stromal cells; Mesenchymal stromal cells; Mesenchymal stem cells; Regenerative medicine