We found adult human stem cells that can generate, from a single cell, cells with the characteristics of the three germ layers. The cells are stress-tolerant and can be isolated from cultured skin fibroblasts or bone marrow stromal cells, or directly from bone marrow aspirates. These cells can self-renew; form characteristic cell clusters in suspension culture that express a set of genes associated with pluripotency; and can differentiate into endodermal, ectodermal, and mesodermal cells both in vitro and in vivo. When transplanted into immunodeficient mice by local or i.v. injection, the cells integrated into damaged skin, muscle, or liver and differentiated into cytokeratin 14-, dystrophin-, or albumin-positive cells in the respective tissues. Furthermore, they can be efficiently isolated as SSEA-3(+) cells. Unlike authentic ES cells, their proliferation activity is not very high and they do not form teratomas in immunodeficient mouse testes. Thus, nontumorigenic stem cells with the ability to generate the multiple cell types of the three germ layers can be obtained through easily accessible adult human mesenchymal cells without introducing exogenous genes. These unique cells will be beneficial for cell-based therapy and biomedical research.