Background aims Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) exhibit non-specific hematopoietic cell and/or stromal cell markers (e.g. CD73, CD105 and CD166) that have been used to identify MSC by flow cytometry. Because a neural glial antigen, NG2 (a progenitor cell marker in the central nervous system), is expressed by several tissue cells originating in the mesenchyme but not hematopoietic cells, it might be useful for isolating and identifying MSC. We investigated NG2 expression on culture-expanded MSC by flow cytometry. Methods Human bone marrow (BM) samples taken from 12 donors were cultured for MSC to be used in up to nine serial passages. Using flow cytometry, the neural glial antigen NG2 and commonly used MSC markers CD73, CD105 and CD166, were analyzed on the surface of culture-expanded MSC. The multipotential differentiation of the MSC was examined by adipogenic and osteogenic induction. Results The percentage of cells positive for NG2 was similar to the percentages of cells positive for CD73, CD105 and CD166 in all passages of BM samples. The mean fluorescent intensities of NG2 did not change with culture passage. The MSC was successfully differentiated into adipogenic and osteogenic lines. The cells showed no karyotypic abnormalities. Conclusions NG2 seems to be a promising marker for investigating the biology of MSC.