Gene expression levels varied in human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells during early differentiation. Gene expression levels were measured via real-time RT-PCR. Relative mRNA fold-changes (2–∆∆Ct) for extracellular matrix proteins ((A) aggrecan, (B) type II collagen) and laminin receptors (integrin subunits: (C) ITGα6, (D) α3, (E) β4 and (F) CD239) in differentiated human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells cultured on a three-dimensional Matrigel™ system for 1 and 7 days (n = 4, mean ± standard error). The relative mRNA level of the control sample at day 1 was set as the calibrator (value = 1) for normalizing the relative mRNA levels of treatment groups at day 1 and all groups at day 7 (a, fold-difference between day 1 and day 7 samples of each treatment group ≥2, P <0.05, one-factor analysis of variance followed by Tukey’s post-hoc analysis). IGF-1, insulin-like growth factor-1; TGF, transforming growth factor.