Fluid Phase Amniotic Stem Cells (FPASC ) are obtained from human amniocentesis specimens. FPASC represent about 1% of the cells found in amniotic fluid. They are characterized by slow proliferation in culture for approximately 1 week, become adherent to plastic and can be passaged at 70% confluency every two to three days. retaining a normal karyotype. Purification of isolated FPASc can be readily performed by selection for expression of the membrane stem cell factor receptor c-kit. In addition, FPASC express embryonic markers such as OCT4 and SSEA-4. They also express mesenchymal and/or neuronal markers such as CD29, CD44, CD73, CD90 and CD105. FPASCs can be directed into a wide range of cell types representing the three primary embryonic lineages of mesoderm, endoderm and ectoderm, including cells of adipogenic, osteogenic, myogenic, endothelial, neuronal and hepatic lineages. They have a very high renewal capacity and can be expanded for over 250 population doublings without any loss of chromosomal telomere length and retaining a normal karyotype.
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