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Uploaded on Oct 12, 2007
Mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow are capable of differentiating into cardiomyocytes. However the characteristics of the stem cells are poorly understood, and how the progeny of multipotent cells adopt one fate among several possible fates remains a fundamental question. A hierarchical model has been proposed on the in vitro differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. Yamada and Umezawa show that mesenchymal stem cells in culture consisted of a mixture of at least three types of cells, i.e., cardiac myoblasts, cardiac progenitors and multipotent stem cells, and suggest that commitment of a single-cell-derived stem cell toward a cardiac lineage is stochastic by a follow-up study of individual cells.