Details: Scientific Reports. 2015, 5:10106. doi: 10.1038/srep10106.
Adult stem cells play an important role in maintaining tissue homeostasis. Although these cells are found in many tissues, the presence of stem cells in the human minor salivary glands is not well explored. Using the explant culture method, we isolated a population of cells with self-renewal and differentiation capacities harboring that reside in the human minor salivary glands, called human minor salivary gland mesenchymal stem cells (hMSGMSCs). These cells show embryonic stem cell and mesenchymal stem cell phenotypes. Our results demonstrate that hMSGMSCs have the potential to undergo mesodermal, ectodermal and endodermal differentiation in conditioned culture systems in vitro. Furthermore, in vivo transplantation of hMSGMSCs into SCID mice after partial hepatectomy shows that hMSGMSCs are able to survive and engraft, characterized by the survival of labeled cells and the expression of the hepatocyte markers AFP and KRT18. These data demonstrate the existence of hMSGMSCs and suggest their potential in cell therapy and regenerative medicine.