BACKGROUNDWe recently characterized a progenitor of mesodermal lineage (MPCs) from the human bone marrow of adults or umbilical cord blood. These cells are progenitors able to differentiate toward mesenchymal, endothelial and cardiomyogenic lineages. Here we present an extensive molecular characterization of MPCs, from bone marrow samples, including 39 genes involved in stem cell machinery, differentiation and cell cycle regulation.METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGSMPCs are cytofluorimetrically characterized and quantitative RT-PCR was performed to evaluate the gene expression profile, comparing it with MSCs and hESCs lines. Immunofluorescence and dot-blot analysis confirm qRT-PCR data. MPCs exhibit an increased expression of OCT4, NANOG, SALL4, FBX15, SPP1 and to a lesser extent c-MYC and KLF4, but lack LIN28 and SOX2. MPCs highly express SOX15.CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCEMPCs express many pluripotency-associated genes and show a peculiar Oct-4 molecular circuit. Understanding this unique molecular mechanism could lead to identifying MPCs as feasible, long telomeres, target cells for reprogramming with no up-regulation of the p53 pathway. Furthermore MPCs are easily and inexpensively harvested from human bone marrow.