Background: Adipose derived- and bone marrow-derived murine mesenchymal stem cells (mMSCs) may be used to study stem cell properties in an in vivo setting for the purposes of evaluating therapeutic strategies that may have clinical applications in the future. If these cells are to be used for transplantation, the question arises of how to track the administered cells. One solution to this problem is to transplant cells with an easily identifiable genetic marker such as enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP). This protein is fluorescent and therefore does not require a chemical substrate for identification and can be visualized in living cells. This study seeks to characterize and compare adipose derived- and bone marrow-derived stem cells from C57Bl/6 mice and eGFP transgenic C57Bl/6 mice. Results: The expression of eGFP does not appear to affect the ability to differentiate along adipogenic or osteogenic lineages; however it appears that the tissue of origin can influence differentiation capabilities. The presence of eGFP had no effect on cell surface marker expression, and mMSCs derived from both bone marrow and adipose tissue had similar surface marker profiles. There were no significant differences between transgenic and non-transgenic mMSCs. Conclusion: Murine adipose derived and bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells from non-transgenic and eGFP transgenic C57Bl/6 mice have very similar characterization profiles. The availability of mesenchymal stem cells stably expressing a genetic reporter has important applications for the advancement of stem cell research.